With over 1,000 applicants competing in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association contest, various Palo Alto High School publications were awarded with Gold and Silver Crowns last month.
The CSPA presented 81 Scholastic Gold Awards and 115 Silver Crowns at the 2015 Student Awards Convocation judging the digital publication entries on Nov. 1, 2014 at Columbia University and the other categories on Dec. 13-15, 2014. The Campanile won a Gold Crown award in the “High School Hybrid Gold Crowns” category and Verde Magazine won a Gold Crown in the “High School Newspaper Gold Crowns” section.
Verde Co-Editors-in-Chief Jasper McEvoy, Tira Oskoui, Bryan Wong and Jack Brook agreed that last year’s Editors-in-Chief Hollie Kool and Noam Shemtov helped Verde earn a Gold Crown award.
“I have to credit Hollie [Kool] and Noam [Shemtov], our Editors-in-Chief last year,” McEvoy said. “They were really on top of it and gave great edits.”
Oskoui added that the staff last year also had good chemistry.
“We were pretty small and tight-knit, and everybody was very passionate about putting out their best work,” Oskoui said.
Verde had not won a Gold Crown award since 2007.
“[Winning a Gold Crown] was something that we aimed towards this year in terms of leading the magazine towards quality writing and just something that motivated us,” Wong said.
Campanile won a Gold Crown in the “High School Hybrid” category for its presence in print and online journalism. Campanile staff writer Mischa Nee comments on the Campanile winning this award.
“The Gold Crown award gives us [Campanile staff] confirmation that we have continued the standard of excellence that the Campanile and Paly journalism as a whole has set,” Nee said. “As we have recently become a hybrid publication, we hope to continue to improve the online side of the paper as we stay on trend with the increasing influence of technology.”
Campanile Co-Editor-in-Chief, Grace Kim, also recognizes the importance of expanding Campanile’s online presence.
“Right now I think our online presence is pretty minimal,” Kim said. “I’d like to see more multimedia elements to our site. To really utilize this additional platform in conjuction with the print circulation is where I think we’re headed.”
The Paly Voice and The Viking Magazine also won Silver Crown awards in the “High School Digital Silver Crown” and “High School Hybrid Silver Crowns” sections, respectively. Viking last earned a Gold Crown award in 2013, and Voice in 2012.
Viking Co-Editor-in-Chief Zoe Bhargava commented on The Viking earning a Silver Crown.
“I think this year, we have put in a lot of effort towards improving both our online presence and magazine,” Bhargava said. “With our online presence, we have attempted to become more active on social media. … As for the magazine, we have spent a lot more time focusing on the design going into our magazine to hopefully enhance our readers’ experience.”