Aside from the published monthly issues of the school newspaper and production of the yearbook covering the past school year, the work of journalists is also recognized through contests and competitions. One such contest that recently recognized many MN journalists is the Journalism Education Association (JEA) Nebraska 2018 Winter High School Competition.
Twenty-five journalistic works were awarded to students of MN out of 422 student entries from 30 different schools. There were 26 different categories in which journalistic works could be submitted.
Junior Haidyn Sosallah-Bahr is a seasoned veteran in the JEA contest. She won a superior award, the highest award one can receive, in Editorial Cartooning. This is her third superior award in a row.
“It feels really good, especially since I know that I’m going to get to go to State and try my best there and try to get some more awards for our school,” Sosallah-Bahr said. “Mostly, it feels good that my work is quality work and that it’s seen as being quality work. I know that validation for others is not something I look for all the time, but it is nice to know that my work is being recognized.”
Sosallah-Bahr draws editorial cartoons for The Hoofbeat, displaying strong messages through her drawings.
“There’s a lot of thought that goes into it, and it’s not like a spur-of-the-moment, ‘do it really quick,’ kind of thing. There’s thought and intention that goes into what you’re representing,” Sosallah-Bahr said.
In the other realm of journalism, yearbook journalists also won many awards. Senior and Editor-in-Chief of yearbook Aashka Sindhav won three awards: honorable mention in Yearbook Theme Copy Writing, honorable mention in Yearbook Layout, and excellent in Yearbook Layout.
“I feel really great just because I put in a lot of work as Editor-in-Chief, and it’s really nice to see my achievements being recognized. It’s nice to have someone judge them and know where I stand in terms of other people,” Sindhav said.
Students with first-time experience in journalism are just as likely to be recognized for their work as those with years of experience. This year is junior and photographer Emma Grunkmeyer’s first year on yearbook, and she received a superior in News Feature Photography.
“It’s really cool because I used to think that my pictures weren’t as good as I thought they were so it’s kind of a confidence boost for me. It makes me want to take more pictures and keep getting better,” Grunkmeyer said.
These contests and recognitions allow journalists to realize their talent and hard work, as well as appreciate their accomplishments and achievements.
“It means that I’m doing something right as an editor just to have some accomplishments being recognized. I feel like if I had been able to do this for a couple more years, I feel like I could get better ratings and awards, but I feel like it’s really great to be able to be acknowledged for these awards in my first year [doing layouts],” Sindhav said.
MN’s journalists will continue to strive toward superior work, producing issues of the newspaper and the final product of the yearbook, as well as entering the State competition.