Convent High School's student newspaper won its third Pacemaker, one of the biggest honors in scholastic press, at the National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis.
Convent High School's student newspaper, The Broadview, has won one of the top prizes in high school journalism. The Pacemaker was awarded for editions from the 2015-2016 school year based on the coverage and content; the quality of writing, including in-depth reporting; leadership on the opinion pages; and overall layout and graphics/photography.
The Pacemaker, considered the preeminent honor in high school journalism, is handed out by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) in five categories — online, newspaper, yearbook, magazine and broadcast. This is the third time in the past 11 years that The Broadview has won the Newspaper Pacemaker and the sixth time the paper has been nominated. Last year, the paper's online site was a Pacemaker Finalist for the first time.
"The 2016 Pacemaker is a pretty big deal because only 22 schools nationally won the award this year," says Scholastic Journalism & Media Director Tracy Sena, who is the paper's longtime adviser. The Broadview was selected over schools with much bigger journalism programs. "I'm fond of telling the girls, 'We may be a Division V school, but we compete against Division I schools.' That says a lot about our girls and their dedication."
The Broadview has been a mainstay on the awards stage for over a decade, and was inducted into the NSPA Hall of Fame last year for receiving 10 top ratings in an 11-year span. Senior Lisabelle Panossian, the paper's editor-in-chief, says the Pacemaker "truly represents our commitment of publishing high-quality material for the sake of our community." Read our full conversation with Lisabelle below.
What role does The Broadview play in the community and how do you see your responsibility as editor-in-chief?
The Broadview plays a crucial role in granting students a voice in a publication as well as keeping our student body informed on issues that may specifically relate to them, from checking for breast cancer to gender and sexuality identity. It is also our duty to ensure that each side of our student body's plethora of perspectives are heard and impartially reported.
How did you and your staff react to learning that you would be recipients of the Pacemaker?
Ms. Sena sent Managing Editor Julia-Rose Kibben and me a text over the weekend breaking the news and I just smiled so widely at my phone. I was in an elevator smiling widely at my phone and some people in the elevator were giving me odd stares but in that moment I really didn't care.
I then sent the news to our former iMessage group chat with our senior editors from last year and they all congratulated us for our work last year and our continued success this year.
How might your experience in high school journalism help prepare you for college and life in the workforce?
My experience in high-level high school journalism has been the main reason for wanting to major in journalism and pursue it as a career path. However, should I decide to change my mind later in life, my journalism experience has granted me the confidence to approach people for answers, information, and questions that I feel I need. Regardless of what I decide to ultimately pursue, journalism has allowed me to know what it is like to be a leader that my younger staff members look up to and to be a person given the opportunity to inspire others. Additionally, my writing skills have improved drastically over the course of my three years on staff — allowing me to get my point across to people in a concise, powerful way, be it through cover letters or emails to superiors.
Follow The Broadview online here.
Photo credit: Jemima Scott, Grade 11