NSPA names 5 WSS staffers finalists in Story and Multimedia Story of the Year Contests

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Five students on the 2012-2013 West Side Story staff are finalists in the National Scholastic Press Association’s 2013 Individual Award Contest.

Juliann Skarda ’13 is a finalist in the Feature Story of the Year Contest for her article titled “Seeking Shelter.”

Paul Curry ’14, Brenna Deerberg ’13, Amelia Moser ’14, Skarda and Shirley Wang ’14 are finalists in the Multimedia Feature Story of the Year contest for their video titled “West High Investigates: Anonymous Twitter Accounts.”

The first place winners in each category will compete for the $1,000 Brasler Prize, judged by Wayne Brasler of University High School in Chicago. First through fifth places and honorable mentions will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention on Nov. 16 in Boston.

The Multimedia Story of the Year contest is co-sponsored by PBS NewsHour Extra and honors student work in three categories: News, Feature and Sports. Entries were judged based on the following criteria:

  • Value, importance or worth of story
  • Innovation in use of multimedia
  • Technical quality of multimedia elements
  • Adherence to copyright laws
  • Quality of writing and editing
  • Credibility and leadership

The print Story of the Year contest is co-sponsored by The Headline Club, the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The contest honors student work in the following categories: News, Feature, Editorial, Sports and Diversity. The categories combined yielded more than 750 entries. Judges selected finalists based on the following criteria:

  • Value, importance or worth of story
  • Quality of reporting and quotes
  • Quality of writing and editing
  • Credibility and leadership

These students are the only finalists from the state in the Story and Multimedia Story of the Year categories, although three other Iowa high schools have finalists in the Photo and Design of the Year categories. These school newspapers include The Pirate of Hudson, The Little Hawk of Iowa City and The Dragon of Johnston.