Highlights places 7th Best of Show nationwide in NSPA JEA judging


Ryan Feinberg, staff writer

In a recent trip to San Francisco for a JEA National Scholastic Press Association competition, Highlights placed seventh in Best of Show for nine-12 page newspapers. Other Beverly journalism students competed, including Dani Klemes (11), Juliette Deutsch (9) and Nastazia Moshirfatemi (9).

The issue that placed seventh was an issue released in March, 2013.

“I think that winning this semester was really great,” Editor-in-chief Julia Waldow said. “I think throughout the year everybody has been working really hard, and I’m really proud of everybody. To be able to all have this opportunity to win together as a class is very exciting.”

Waldow said the decision to submit the February issue was based on a “really good balance between layout and content.”

While the print issue placed top ten, the website failed to place at all.

Editor-in-chief Robert Katz felt the lack of award was understandable, noting that the quality of the website was poor.

“I think not only is the ranking potentially unimpressive, the website is definitely unimpressive,” Katz said. “I think we haven’t put the right foot forward as we have with the print [edition], but of course I think that can be rectified.

Katz explained that “the idea of a website was a little more novel a year ago,” a factor that may have contributed to not placing.

“I’m not happy that we didn’t place, but at the same time, that doesn’t mean that I think we can’t place again,” Katz said.

As for the individual competitions, Klemes competed in photo story, Deutsch competed in sports writing and Moshirfatemi competed in feature writing, placing honorable mention.

“I’m really proud of all three of these students for competing in their first ever write-offs,” Highlights adviser Gabrielle Herbst said. “They can be challenging, stressful and overwhelming, but overall I believe the ladies had a great first experience, and I know they are looking forward to competing in the future.”

Even as an adviser, Herbst benefited educationally from the convention.

“This convention was a learning experience for me on many levels. It opened my eyes to new ways of doing things for Highlights, and the class should be looking forward to lessons on my new knowledge,” Herbst explained. “Also, as I sat as a judge, I learned a lot about the backside of the write-off process that I feel will benefit all members of the journalism program.”