“The Pride,” the online student newspaper of Johnson High School, is a Crown finalist for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). The Crown awards are one of the highest honors a scholastic or collegiate publication can receive. Only 19 online publications in the country were selected as finalists and only three of those were in Texas. “The Pride” will be awarded either a silver or gold Crown at the CSPA spring convention during spring break, Mar. 14 – 18.
“My staff feels very honored and privileged to receive this recognition,” said Velisa Jewett, journalism teacher. “Considering that only two other high schools in the San Antonio area have ever received a Crown award in any category in the past 20 years, they are especially proud of this moment.”
Jewett feels this recognition for the students means that the hard work they do is not going unnoticed.
“It makes them more confident in their skills in new judgment, reporting and writing and really just providing a service and a product to readers,” said Jewett.
While moving from pint to online is a definite change for any paper, according to Jewett, the transition has been easy.
“After the initial shock at how fast the pace of online journalism can move–even in a scholastic environment–it’s easier than you would think to move the publication primarily online,” said Jewett. “The kids are producing a record amount of content–there is no shortage of news and sports coverage on a high school campus–and enjoy getting feedback from their readers, their peers and others in the community via comments.”
Students are able to track how many people view their site each day, as well as where they are viewing the site.
“It is thrilling when the staff gets to see that the Web site is actually being viewed all over the world,” said Jewett. “That very real sense of communicating at that level, at a faster pace, is rewarding for them and therefore more enjoyable.”
View “The Pride” online at www.myjagnews.com. For a list of all 19 finalists, visit cspa.columbia.edu/docs/no-show/2011-online-crowns-finalists.html (external link).