State Runner-Up in Journalism

NC Journalism wins awards from last year’s newspaper and yearbook material at state convention

Ashley Klein, Reporter

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      On Monday November 5, 2018, the Wyoming State Journalism Conference was held in Riverton, Wyoming. Two NC journalism students, Abigail Gruner, Parker Albert, and the journalism advisor, Ms. Lisa Gray attended. Many are unaware about the convention in the first place, and would be surprised to know that multiple activities happen.

      The Wyoming State Journalism conference is important to the students and staff that attended, as well many other students who are involved in journalism programs across the state. NC journalism was represented by two of four class editors. These editors were not only representing themselves, they were also representing all the writers and page designers in the class. The students who were able attend the conference and the students who stayed in their hometowns were united in their hopes that their school would walk away from the conference with many awards for their school’s newspapers and yearbook made during the 2017-2018 school year.

     NC journalism ended up taking 16 awards: 10 for The Gusher, and six for The Mustang. These awards included multiple first and second places for individual articles and yearbook pages, as well as the “State Runner Up” award for the newspaper and the “Silver Merit Award” for the yearbook. The categories for awards were separated out by 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A; NC won awards in the 4A categories. Multiple journalism students won several awards such as the newspaper’s editor from the 2017-18 school year, Abby Dotterer. Dotterer ended up taking two first place awards: one in the 4A sports category and another in the 4A review category.

     For Albert and Gruner bringing these awards back to the class was bittersweet because they were glad to win so many awards, but both knew there was room for improvement this school year. Gruner, who is one of the newspaper’s editors, is motivated to improve this year’s newspaper in the hopes to win the first place state award as opposed to receiving second again. In regards to getting the “Silver Merit Award” for the yearbook Albert said, “I’m not disappointed, but I know we (the yearbook staff) can do better.”

The awards from judges are important, but the “People’s Choice” awards are possibly even more coveted by the schools that attend. During the lunch period at the conference, students are encouraged to look at all the schools’ yearbooks and newspapers. They then choose which newspaper and yearbook to vote for in the two “People’s Choice” award categories. Albert and Gruner observed that The Mustang was getting a lot of praise from the other schools’ students, and so they thought that NC’s yearbook was definitely in the running to win. Unfortunately, Worland High school’s yearbook ended up winning, but The Gusher did take the People’s choice award for school newspaper.

     In addition to the awards ceremony, there were multiple other activities put on at the convention. Throughout the day all the students who attended had the chance to attend classes where they could learn about different aspects of journalism. Students and their advisor could also meet with judges to learn how to improve their newspapers and yearbook. During the day each student had the opportunity to go to 4 classes. Albert and Gruner chose to go to classes that covered topics that they thought they, themselves, and NC journalism students in general need the most work with. The classes they chose to attend taught them about topics such as PhotoShop; interviews; yearbook page layouts; properly written captions; and precise, readable leads for newspapers. (The lead is the first few introductory sentences in an article.)

     Albert and Gruner paid close attention to these classes and took thorough notes because they planned to teach the NC journalism class all of the important information they learned. The first day back in class Albert and Gruner constructed a slideshow presentation on the information they needed to teach the class. The slideshow was primarily about how to write captions, as Ms. Gray had told Albert and Gruner that writing captions is where the class could improve most. The next class period they presented this slideshow.

     The Wyoming State Journalism Conference was a valuable event to many Wyoming Journalism students, including NC’s own Parker Albert and Abigail Gruner. The conference was attended by students and advisors from 18 schools from all over the state. The schools that attended were very diverse and varied from 1A to 4A. NC brought home a plethora of awards for both the 2017-18 yearbook and the 2017-18 newspapers.  Although having the opportunity to win many awards was fun for Albert and Gruner, the information they learned there was what made the conference especially valuable. The two NC students were able to pass on the information they learned to their whole journalism class of 24 students.