Contest Fix Notices

Winners Announced For YJI’s Fourth Annual Excellence In Journalism Contest

HARTFORD, Conn., U.S.A. – The heartbreaking story of a 12-year-old Pakistani
girl who spent much of her life as a kitchen maid took the top newswriting
award in Youth Journalism International’s 2013 Excellence in Journalism contest.
by Arooj Khalid, a 15-year-old girl in Lahore, Pakistan, the child labor piece captured
the Frank Keegan “Take No Prisoners” Award for News in this year’s contest,
which recognized the best in youth journalism worldwide.

Arooj Khalid /


Saba Sher washing dishes as a kitchen

maid in Pakistan



top honors as the Connecticut-based nonprofit’s Student Journalist of the Year
is Joanie Lyons, 18, a Highlands Ranch, Colo. senior who plans to attend
Louisiana State University in the fall.
with a crystal trophy during her journalism class at Mountain Vista High
School, Lyons said, “This is so cool.”
annual contest for teen journalists honored 87 talented students from 20
countries and 19 U.S. states. They collected awards for everything from news to
reviews, with photographers, cartoonists, columnists and others securing honors
for an astonishing range of material published last year.
Frank Johnson, one of the more than 20
contest judges, praised the quality of work.
“It was clear that journalism has a
future in the world,” said Johnson. “There were interesting topics and strong
writing skills exhibited in every article I read.”
said the awards help young writers like her make a difference.
like these make me believe that I can,” she said. 
one adult winner was Kim Vinh, a teacher at Sequoia High School in Redwood
City, Calif., named as the 2013 Journalism Educator of the Year.
Anderson of Brisbane, Australia, won the other major award, the Jacinta Marie
Bunnell Award for Commentary. Anderson’s piece, about cutting and self-harm,
was based in part on personal experience.
in this year’s contest, many of them professionals in the field, helped narrow
down hundreds of solid entries in dozens of categories. The annual contest, now
in its fourth year, is open to any young journalist in the world.
four people chosen in the major categories receive crystal trophies. Eighty seven students on five
continents – winners in the many other categories – will receive custom-made
certificates in recognition of their work.
Student Journalist of the Year
teacher, Mark Newton, said Lyons has always shown a willingness to try new
things, to push the boundaries. He said she has “a superb enthusiasm and
capacity for independent thought.”
Joanie Lyons


has a range of journalistic skills, from reporting to layout, and a keen news
sense to tie them all together.
an era of rapid change in journalism, Joanie Lyons has what it takes to strike
off in new directions, to bring her enthusiasm to the challenge of finding a
way to keep delivering the news with talent and skill,” said Steve Collins,
president of YJI’s board.
said people have “amazing stories” that she likes to tell. As an editor, she
also loves designing pages for publication.
the co-editor of both the school paper, VISTAj and its yearbook, which have
newly combined staffs, Lyons said she enjoys helping and guiding classmates.
who graduated this month, said she plans to study journalism and biology at
addition to Lyons, two talented young journalists were named as finalists in
the category, no small honor.
were Justina Liu of Guilderland High School in Guilderland Center, N.Y. and
Zachary Babb of Cypress Falls High School in Houston, Texas. Both are
outstanding young journalists.
Vista High School is in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Previous winners have hailed
from Idaho, Pennsylvania and India.
Jacinta Marie Bunnell Award for
student at the University of Queensland, Anderson said she was initially unsure
whether to tackle the subject of self-harm. She said it surprised her editor
and shocked her parents – who knew nothing of her seven-year struggle with
cutting until just before her essays were published – but called it an issue
“that really needed to be told.”
Tasman Anderson
wrote, “It seems almost cliché that the quiet nerdy kid had a toxic friendship
with the knife, but that was my life. The only thing that made my story
different from the self-harmers portrayed on television was the fact that my
addiction didn’t start because of emotional trauma. I was never abused nor was
I particularly unhappy.”
the two-part essay she wrote at age 19, Anderson describes the addictive power
of “cutting” and how she kept it from her friends and family. She told how,
with support, she finally broke the addiction and urged others in a similar
situation to reach out for help.  
Frank Keegan “Take No
Prisoners” Award for News
Arooj Khalid
was important to show the world that there are a lot of less fortunate people
in this world,” said Khalid. “There are kids who don’t know what it’s like
being with your family, going to school, having friends, or making lists for
the presents they want.
importantly, they don’t know what their basic rights are,” Khalid continued.
“They don’t know much about themselves, how to keep safe and protect
took photos of Saba and other Pakistani children at work and wrote a personal
essay about the price of child labor that accompanied her news story.
like Saba are a lesson to us and their stories are a call towards their rights
to a happy and carefree adolescence,” said Khalid. “They deserve to get
education, meet friends, learn new things, not to work day and night just to
earn enough money to survive. Kids of Saba’s age should be out there playing in
the fields, not washing dishes.”
Journalism Educator of the Year
the Educator of the Year is always tough. There are so many caring, dedicated
and talented teachers touching lives day in and day out,” Collins said.
Kim Vinh, the adviser for the Sequoia High School Raven Report in Redwood City,
Calif., stood out.
Greenhill, a junior at Sequoia, said that Vinh “has an incredible talent for
fostering enthusiasm in her students” because she “allows us to develop our own
skills by guiding us without ever taking control of our work.”
of the paper’s editors, Caroline Lempert and Anna Dagum, were impressed that
Vinh starts most classes with a question.
are given time to think,” they said, “and the class is quiet until somebody
decides to share, eventually giving way to thought-provoking answers and rich
discussion.  The beginning of class embodies the two things that define
Ms. Vinh as a teacher: her love of awkward silences and her ability to make
students think.”
Efigenio, a parent, said Vinh also “truly embodies the spirit of freedom of
speech as the students brainstorm ideas for stories, conduct the interviews
themselves, write the articles and do the layout of the paper. Ms. Vinh acts as
an advisor in the best sense of the word.”
Dearborn, the paper’s sports editor, said Vinh ensured her students have “a
whirlwind of amazing experiences,” which is one of the things that makes
journalism so wonderful.
an English teacher for the past eight years who has taught journalism for the
past four of them, said she learned in high school “how powerful it is to have
an audience.”
said that writing news gives students a place where they can work as
professionals, telling stories for thousands of people who recognize they have
“real credibility.”
different than churning out papers for a grade, Vinh said.
really ups the ante for them” to have so many reading their work, she said. “It’s
a real world, very valuable, experience.”
other teachers nominated were also terrific and two were finalists this year: Erika
Manternach of Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah and Brian Sweeney
of Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, N.Y.
the work we saw and the words written by students across the world, we know
there are many, many educators who put heart and soul into teaching
journalism,” said Collins. “It warms our hearts.”
Journalism International has been educating the next generation of news
professionals and talented teens since 1994. Formally incorporated in 2007, it
is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit public charity. Its website can be found
contest covered work published in English between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31,
2012. Those eligible must be 19 or under and not working professionally.
complete list of this year’s contest winners follows, with links provided to
some of the work. Comments by judges are in italics.
more information, please contact Jackie Majerus, Youth Journalism
International’s executive director, at 
Connecticut or write to
Complete Winners List:
WINNER: Joanie Lyons, Mountain Vista High
School, Highlands Ranch, Colorado
FINALIST: Justina Liu, Guilderland
High School, Guilderland Center, N.Y.
FINALIST: Zachary Babb, Cypress
Falls High School, Houston, Texas
Kim Vinh, Sequoia High School, Redwood City, Calif.
Brian Sweeney, Townsend-Harris High School, Flushing, NY
Erika Manternach, Juan Diego Catholic High School, Draper, Utah
Tasman Anderson of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, for
FINALIST: Deven Navani,
Texting harms teens,” Chaboya Middle School, San Jose, Calif.
FINALIST: Anshul Kumar Pandey, of Youth
Ki Awaaz in Madhya Pradesh, India, for “Mocking the Mahatma”
Arooh Khalid of
Model Higher Secondary School
in Lahore, Pakistan, for
“No School, Only Work for 12-Year-Old Pakistani Girl Working Daily As A Maid”
NEWS – Individual reporting
FIRST PLACE: Michelle Chavez, of
Montgomery Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, for “Northwood employee taken into custody”
offense stories are among the most difficult things a reporter has to tackle.
Chavez’s story is a balanced, well-reported news story in the wake of an arrest
that deeply affected the community. Chavez examines the arrest from the
perspective of administrators and students, providing a good look at its
Kuhr, of Juan Diego Catholic High School, Draper, Utah, for “Breaking the Curse of Anxiety”
Kuhr handles a difficult topic well, getting her subjects to open
up to her about what can be an intensely private problem. She manages to
explain crippling anxiety in a way that brings the reader in realistically,
expressing its seriousness without resorting to melodrama.

HONORABLE MENTION: Julie Fishbach of Roslyn
High School, Roslyn Heights, N.Y., for “RHS
Fishbach handles a breaking event well as it unfolds – no
small feat and a club every journalist needs to have in their bag. She provides
a number of diverse perspectives on the event and let the sources tell the
MENTION: Eli Winter, of Carnegie Vanguard High School, Houston, Texas, “City, Rice launch online tool
that calculates storm risk”
An interesting science story that gives readers an entertaining
look at a local university project and lets them know what it means to them.
Well sourced and well written.
Savannah Harrelson, Borah High School, Boise, Idaho, for “Levy vote needed to maintain class sizes and
does an excellent job explaining school funding, politics and the real world
consequences of an important upcoming vote. A well-structured piece that gives
readers what they need to understand a complex issue.
– Team reporting (multiple byline)
and Ruchita Balasubramanian, of East Brunswick High School, East Brunswick, New
Jersey, for “Recovering from Sandy”
After nine days with no school after Hurricane
Sandy slammed their state, Rachana and Ruchita Balasubramanian, sophomore
siblings at New Jersey’s East Brunswick High School, rushed to produce a
two-page spread on the destruction, according to their teacher, Cynthia
Collins. They produced a thorough, solid and impressive package in record time
for The Clarion. They
are solid journalists with promising futures.
– (individual byline)
Kumar Pandey, of Youth Ki Awaaz in Madhya Pradesh, India, for “Dilemma of Cow
Slaughter in India”
Powell, Munro College, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, for “TEENvisits youth Science
Majerus-Collins, Yelena Samofalova, Avery St. Germain, Hall High School, West
Hartford, Connecticut, for “Author Judy Blume Tells Her Own Stories”
than merely reporting what author Judy Blume said during a local appearance,
the team made the most of an opportunity to question her directly. With
newswriting, photos and video, they did an excellent job of producing a package
that covered many angles, writing about Blume’s own memories, her experiences
with censorship and her advice to young writers. St. Germain also contributed a
first-person sidebar that conveyed the excitement a young writer would have
upon meeting an icon in youth literature.
— Individual
Shaw of The Horace Mann School, Bronx, N.Y., for “P1N5: Two Juniors Adorn The
SECOND PLACE:  Matthew Borin of Roslyn High School, Roslyn
Heights, N.Y., for “Student Profile: Jacob Goldstein”
Ji Lee of The Stanford Daily,
Stanford University, for “The Fresh Set: Kylee Saunders, Japanese Pop Star”
Rachel Kuhr, of Juan Diego Catholic High School, Draper, Utah, for “JD Dancer
Leaps Toward Ballet Career”
– Individual
FIRST PLACE: Lauren Fabiszak of The John Carroll School, Bel
Air, Maryland, for “Xavia”
Nice article. Excellent topic
handled with care. Good introduction, middle and conclusion. Very minor issues
with grammar and a stark expression of opinion that could have easily been
folded into the story but definitely a moving, compelling, well written article.
SECOND PLACE: Anisha Datta of Glencoe High
School, Hillsboro, Oregon

for “Year in France”
Very mature writing. Interesting
article. Good introduction and good concluding paragraph with a bit of humor
Cypress Falls High School, Houston, Texas
for “More Than Just
a Voice”
Mature writing. Good introduction
and conclusion. A bit repetitive and a bit choppy. Could have said the same
thing with a more economical use of words
HONORABLE MENTION: Robert Guthrie of Wallace Hall Academy,
Dumfries, Scotland, for “CORE – Fruitful Start”
Mature writing style, good introduction
paragraph, good concluding paragraph. A bit choppy in that it contained a
series of paragraphs that were not blended from one to the other.
of Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, N.Y., for “Harrisites”
Nice article. Good introduction
paragraph and a good conclusion. The article could have been a bit shorter. It
had many interesting quotes but lacked the writer’s narrative to connect and
flow from paragraph to paragraph.
— Team (multiple byline)
Kim, Kate Park, Jessica Um and Michael Yoon, of Seoul, South Korea, for “Korean
Teens Learn Conflict Resolution”
This team captured all of the belly
jitters and awkwardness that go along with being thrown together with strangers
in an unfamiliar setting to tackle some pretty heavy material.
From a journalistic standpoint, the reporting was well done. The piece was the
right length, included the proper attributions, and provided nice details about
the workshop activities while capturing the vulnerabilities experienced by the
young participants as their relationships evolved.
But in the spirit of Youth Journalism International, what made this piece a
first-place winner for me was that the writers, in their reporting about a
conference, managed still to put a spotlight on two struggles humans share
across the globe. In the first instance, the writers made reference to the
“heartbreaking” struggle for freedom many North Koreans pursue, often
without success. This is a struggle with which young in many countries can
identify. Secondly, I learned from this piece that bullying is as serious a
problem for young people in Anseong, South Korea as it is for kids in the
United States.
One of the privileges journalists have is to tell stories that draw connections
between communities and draw people together. These reporters did just that.

SECOND PLACE:  Ayla Burnett and Anisha
Datta of the High School Journalism Workshop at the Albany Democrat Herald, Albany, Oregon, for “Kids Get in the Spirit
of Healthy Cooking”
This story included a lot of nice detail
mixed in with interesting facts about the obesity problem and how schools are
addressing it.

HONORABLE MENTION, Youth Journalism International reporters Tasman Anderson in
Australia, Bwette Daniels Gilbert in Uganda, Mariechen Puchert in South Africa,
Evangeline Han in Malaysia, Roohani Deshpande and Pushkal Shivam in India,
Waleed Tariq and Arooj Khalid in Pakistan, Edrees Kakar in Afghanistan, Chaewon
Kim, Tom Moon, Eric Kim, Eugene Sung, Joanne Park and Jason Chung in South
Korea, Narine Daneghyan in Armenia, Caroline Nelissen in The Netherlands, and
in the United States, Ameni Mathlouthi, Mary Majerus-Collins, Alexandria Garry
and Jason Soltys in Connecticut, Eli Winter in Texas and Tamar Gorgadze in
for “How the World’s Youth Celebrate Earth Day”
Film & Theatre Feature Writing
FIRST PLACE: Noah Kidron-Style, City of London School for
Boys, London, England, for “War Horse Charms Buckingham Palace”
Mr. Kidron-Style’s experience, aside
from being mind-blowingly awesome, is detailed beautifully in his article.
While being surrounded by some of the world’s biggest celebrities, he remains clear-headed
in his reportage and encapsulates what was undoubtedly an unforgettable
experience. Next time, I want to be his date.
SECOND PLACE: Josh Goldenberg of Roslyn High School, Roslyn
Heights, N.Y., for “RCP Presents Legally Blonde”
Mr. Goldenberg’s feature on the
trials and tribulations surrounding the launch of a production of “Legally
Blonde” was well reported. My major reservations concern a bland headline and
an overall lack of point of view/forward thrust for the article. It meandered a
bit trying to cover everything related to the production.
HONORABLE MENTION: Mary Majerus-Collins, Hall High School,
West Hartford, Connecticut, for “Who is Bane? Why Does He Hate Batman?”
Miss Majerus-Collins does a fine and
thoughtful job digging into the background on the character of Bane. She
evidences a love of the subject matter, which is a good thing. The article
presupposes a bit of knowledge about the Batman series and perhaps does not
make a strong enough effort to tie it to the film.
(unsigned; award goes to publication)
FIRST PLACE: The Borah Senator, Borah High School,
Boise, Idaho, for “Safe Sex Ad Sparks Debate in Newspaper Staff”
editorial gave the readers a valuable look inside the school’s newsroom,
demonstrating the importance of a responsible, unfettered school newspaper as a
voice of the students. It offered a chance for non-journalism students and
faculty to consider how an idea can be debated and discussed until the
editorial staff is comfortable taking a position. In this case, the “safe sex”
position was contrary to the district’s position of abstinence only, making it
not only carefully considered, but courageous. Editorials like this engage the
student body, encourage readership and are the mark of an exemplary newspaper.
SECOND PLACE: The Borah Senator, Borah High School,
Boise, Idaho, for “Council Strays Away from Democratic Political Process”
the Senator staff shows it understands why a newspaper is needed as a watchdog
in a community. In this case, the editorial points out a glaring problem with
in-school elections and suggests how it can fairly easily be remedied.
Raven Report, Sequoia High School, Redwood City, Calif., for “The 11th
Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Show Thy Butt Cheeks”
for The Raven Report for pointing out what ought to be obvious, but clearly
wasn’t, to the students at Sequoia, in an entertaining way.
(audio or video news)
FIRST PLACE:  Yelena Samofalova and Mary Majerus-Collins,
Hall High School, West Hartford, Connecticut, for “24 Hours With Uncle Tom’s
The reporters asked very good questions,
including asking Thirman Milner to talk about his feelings toward the book and
why he changed his mind about it and getting science teacher Howard Wright to
compare science with history. And you brought out good answers from Amanda Roy
about the reading itself.
What I would have changed:
The video itself seems to go on a bit too long. You might have gotten too much
into the story. Maybe you could have edited out the second time Roy was
presented. We did not need any more on the Center.
You could also have eliminated the interactive talk on the laptop; it’s
doubtful that everyone got that.
might have helped to add more readings in between the interviews. If the person
you are about to interview is the person reading before that interview, the
viewers get a chance to meet your subject in advance.
I like your horizontal format and there was little to no camera shake.
SECOND PLACE: Kiernan Majerus-Collins, Mary Majerus-Collins and Yelena
Samofalova, Hall High School, West Hartford, Connecticut, for “NY Times Editor
Hails Journalists’ Future”

interview question, helping Jill Abramson give a direct answer which works
perfectly for video. I like that the reporters did not try to stuff too many
questions into this piece, but asked the most important one and let the
interviewee answer.
I’d rather see a horizontal format. Vertical videos do not fit into most
players. The letterbox borders on both sides make the video itself small. When
shooting video in horizontal format, you’re able to get a lot closer, plus you
can include environment around your subject.

Multimedia features
FIRST PLACE: Chloe Chaobal, of Alaska Teen Media, for
“Aggressors, Victims, Bystanders”
Chloe was the clear winner. She
provided great “local” coverage of an important topic to her listeners:
bullying. The piece was almost NPR quality, with colorful sound bites and
concise writing. (She even has an NPR name.) The piece was clear, well organized,
informative and easy to listen to.
HONORABLE MENTION: Max Jungreis, of Alaska Teen Media, for
“David and Ted.”
Max got a great interview: The
Unabomber’s brother. The piece was informative. However, what held this piece
back as a piece of journalism is that David Kaczynski did not face many
questions, but mostly spoke unprompted.
HONORABLE MENTION: Aviva Hirsch of Alaska Teen Media, for
Aviva has a great voice and did some
strong interviewing, and her piece was well organized. However, I felt the
piece was somewhat one-sided in favorably portraying families who home school
their children in a religious environment.
Lebeau, Cypress Falls High School, Houston, Texas, for “Affirmative Action”
clarity and confidence, Lebeau delivers her own perspective on the
controversial topic of whether the race of a student should matter when it
comes to college admissions.
FIRST PLACE: Corinne Hazen, Mason
High School, Mason, Ohio, for “MBC Report: Reds’ sports broadcaster Marty
This was so well done, it gets THREE
first prizes… a great opening set the tone… nice interview location – up in the
booth above the field – made things very comfortable… Of course, having a
polished broadcasting professional as the interview subject made things a l-o-t
easier… other than the interview, who did the page lay-out and the write-up? Both
very well done… and, great stand-up at the end (“And this one belongs to the
Reds” was clever).
SECOND PLACE: Aiman Jarrar, Grand
Rapids, Michigan, for “Caledonia/Muskegon game breakdown”
The “In the Zone” open was
entertaining/interesting… nice attempt to do the segment on the field, giving
it a sense of immediacy… the lighting was dark, and the audio was up and down,
particularly at the beginning and the end, illustrating the risks of an outdoor
production… viewers weren’t told who won/final score until 1:08 into the
report… there was good use of stats to back up the analysis.
Falls High School, Houston, Texas,
for “Monday Morning Sports”
MMF 8 —
First impressions mean a lot, so Zac
– as our host – could have dressed nicer (better looking jeans and
shirt-tucked-in would have set a better tone).
While production covered the basics,
it could have been more creative. Could have done more even with just one
camera – the interview was mechanical: same two-shot for questions, single shot
(head-and-shoulders of coach) for answers, then back to two-shot for next
Zac did a good job presenting the
questions in a very friendly, conversational manner. That seemed to be the
proper approach for this type of interview – not meant to be a “Meet the Press”
(bylined by one or more writers)
Datta, Glencoe High School, Hillsboro, Oregon, for “Anti-Islam film lacks
quality, leaves little doubt about intentions to incite”
arguments in an engaging writing style.
Jarrar, Grand Rapids, Michigan, for “Gun Control Needed After Newtown Murders”
a piece that ran the same day as the murders, Jarrar wasted no time in
presenting a coherent and reasonable argument for putting some restrictions on
Cresonia Hsieh of Spanish River Community High School in Delray Beach, Florida,
for “Cleavage-Revealing Costumes Cheapen Halloween and Women Who Wear Them”
Shim of Cheongshim International Academy, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea,
for “Tensions are rising in Asia”
Dearborn, Sequoia High School, Redwood City, Calif., for “Kings of the Kingdom”
WRITING (individual)
FIRST PLACE: Mehran Shamit of William Lyon Mackenzie
Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Canada, for “In Targeting Malala, Taliban
Attacked Islam”
SECOND PLACE: Erik Tita of Juan Diego Catholic High School,
Draper, Utah, for “Five Questions to Ask On Next College Visit”
HONORABLE MENTION: Laurel Dearborn of Sequoia
High School, Redwood City, Calif., for “
The Best Thing in Life is Free”
HONORABLE MENTION: Kelsey Watnes of Juan Diego Catholic High
School, Draper, Utah, for “Use of Derogatory Terms still wrong”
HONORABLE MENTION: Jasmine Wang, East Brunswick High School,
East Brunswick, New Jersey, for “Students’ Struggles Go Far Beyond Homework”
PERSON ESSAY (individual byline)
Mathlouthi, of Institut Superieur Des Langues De Tunis, Tunis, Tunisia, for “Proudly
Tunisian and Part of the Revolution”
gave an important and brave opinion on a really harsh topic and she produced a
valuable piece of journalism.
Wang, East Brunswick High School, East Brunswick, New Jersey, for “Thanks,
gave her honest opinion on a controversial topic with a clean, fresh and
enjoyable style.
MENTION: Sophia D’Angelo, of Roslyn High School of Roslyn Heights, N.Y., for “Out
in Roslyn”
wrote a touching and inspiring piece which truly deserves to be published and
read by everybody.
FIRST PLACE: Thuy Le, University of Pennsylvania, from
Hanoi, Vietnam, for for “Jack Frost Nipping at Your Nose”
Great detail, use of color and shading,
simple, concise
SECOND PLACE: Thuy Le, University of Pennsylvania, from
Hanoi, Vietnam, for “Back to School Guide”
Great sequence, informative
HONORABLE MENTION: Yelena Samofalova, Hall High School, West
Hartford, Connecticut, for “Beauty and Brilliance Lie Under Skin”
Understands simplicity and key
symbols and expressions.
FIRST PLACE: Eli Winter of Carnegie Vanguard High School,
Houston, Texas, for “Strokes Still Shine in Latest Album, Angles.”
Eli’s review is engaging and pithy, but
its most winning characteristic is the context Eli provides. I appreciated the
comparison between a long-running rock band and a long-running comic strip,
both of which have at one point taken a hiatus and tried to climb back on the
horse, and I dug the additional comparison to the work of Guided by Voices, a
band that not only has made a career of working in a limited sonic template (as
The Strokes have), but also served as mentors and tourmates to The Strokes over
a decade ago. Eli considers the record within the context of The Strokes’ whole
oeuvre and within the context of what one might expect of a veteran rock act.
He approaches the album both holistically and on a track-by-track basis,
without the pace of the writing dragging (as often happens with track-by-track
reviews). All in all, this review balances objective analysis and the
subjective expectations of the long-time fan in a way that accomplishes what an
arts review should always accomplish: It makes me trust the writer. He’s done
his homework, and the subjective elements of this review make clear where he’s
coming from.
SECOND PLACE: Justin Tepper of Roslyn High School of Roslyn
Heights, N.Y., for “Battle of the Divas.”
This is a timely roundup around a
theme of sorts – established major female pop stars whose new albums are
angling to maintain the market share of each – that also balances objectivity
and subjectivity quite well. Justin states his opinion boldly at times, but he
does so as he asserts his knowledge of each singer’s catalogue. Again, he’s
clearly done his homework, and this makes his writing feel authoritative.
Capsule reviews of albums are challenging to write, but Justin has painted a
vivid picture in miniature of each record. His tone is balanced and fair, and
even though these four reviews are all brief, he approaches each with detail
and nuance.
HONORABLE MENTION: Lauren Fabiszak of The John Carroll
School, Bel Air, Maryland, for “Justin Bieber’s ‘Believe’ Tour Displays Pop
Star’s Lasting Charm.” Between this story
and her Joe Jonas piece, Lauren’s descriptions of teenaged superfandom are
detailed and infectious; she demonstrates a gift for communicating the manic
exuberance of The Event. Although her Joe Jonas piece has a much snappier lede
(it’s actually a pretty great lede), I felt this review was superior because
Lauren resists lapsing into back-story territory and remains in the moment
throughout, building up to a level of excitement that makes the reader feel
like something important is happening. Even though Bieber’s concert spectacle
sounds pretty much like the standard for a huge pop star, Lauren provides good
historical context by contrasting this show to what Bieber was up to when he
was ascendent two years back.
Film & Theater Criticism
FIRST PLACE: Emily Couch of St. Margaret’s School, Exeter,
England, for “Trapped In A Kentucky Cave, Floyd Collins Delivers Thrilling,
Heartfelt London Theater”
Miss Couch’s review was thoughtful,
multi-faceted and did the best job at conveying the particulars of the production.
Many reviews fall prey to spending too much time on plot exposition at the
expense of a viewpoint. The writer deftly avoided this while selling the
strengths of the show. Based on her write-up, I would definitely buy a ticket.
SECOND PLACE: Madison Pollard, of Surrey, England, for “Sherlock
Madison’s review had a consistent
energy and was engaging. Be careful to re-read your article to make sure
everything will make sense to your reader. There are two points where I, as the
audience for your review, got confused. Clarity is essential, but overall, a
job well done.
HONORABLE MENTION: Yelena Samofalova of Hall High School,
West Hartford, Connecticut, for “Bringing Tubman’s Spirit And Strength To
Miss Samofalova did a nice job
encapsulating her feelings about the play. The biggest area of concern was not
synopsizing for the reader who Harriet Tubman was and how the play tells her
story. Best course of approach with a review: assume the audience knows nothing
and give them a little background.
Kolitz of Roslyn High School, Roslyn Heights, N.Y., for “The
Mindy Project”
The review on Mindy Project was
well-written and timely. Portrayal of female leads in the media has been rather
heavily talked about with the shows like “Girls.” Her review does a
nice job of giving the wider overview on the portrayal of women in the media
while focusing in on the actress and screenwriter, Mindy, and her contributions
to bringing in a different perspective on women to the audience. It is a well-organized
review that weaves all the elements together to incite interest on Mindy Kaling
and how women like her can step up to challenge the norms successfully, with
SECOND PLACE: Noah Kidron-Style of the City of London School
for Boys, London, England, for “Rehearsal Reveals ‘Bizarre And Spectacular’
Opening Ceremonies For London Olympics”
On the Olympic ceremony, Noah analyzed the details well and
pointed out the issue of “was it really for an international audience?” pretty
well. Chariots of Fire is famous, but
not exactly internationally recognized. But it was a showcase of British
culture anyways, whether or not it was recognized. The writer pointed out good
number of details that makes the whole ordeal interesting to follow, such as
the London Philharmonic refusing to mime over the track.
HONORABLE MENTION: Daglar Ozkan of Aci High School,
Istanbul, Turkey, for “The Wisdom of Youth”
The writer approached the idea of
the wisdom of youth in the most honest way they could manage.
News (individual or multiple byline)
FIRST PLACE: Libby Allnatt of Juan Diego Catholic High
School in Draper, Utah, for “Off to the Races”
SECOND PLACE: Zac Babb of Cypress Falls High School,
Houston, Texas, for “Eagles Lose Bid for Championship”
HONORABLE MENTION: Meredith Haggerty of The John Carroll
School, Bel Air, Maryland, for “Wrapping Up: Knowing the Risks of Sports
Injuries Can Make or Break An Athlete’s Career”
HONORABLE MENTION: Kim Brenneisen of Juan Diego Catholic
High School in Draper, Utah, for “Lofty Goals Pay Off”
HONORABLE MENTION: Jilliam McClure of Juan Diego Catholic
High School in Draper, Utah, for “Football Rivals Have Long-Standing Bond”
News (Team)
Journalism International reporters and photographers in the United Kingdom –
Robert Guthrie of Dumfries, Scotland; Noah Kidron-Style of London, England,
Nicole Hendry of Birmingham, England; Robert Mooney of Richmond, England; Ella
Creamer of Devon, England and Myah Guild of Dunstable, England – for their
coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.
FIRST PLACE: Robert Guthrie of Wallace Hall Academy,
Dumfries, Scotland, for “Proud to be
British as London Games End”
storytelling…great examples to illustrate your points….very good opening to
frame the narrative and strong last few graphs of opinion to close and leave
readers with a memorable impression.
SECOND PLACE: Eli Winter of Carnegie Vanguard High School,
Houston, Texas, for “At Age 50, Astros Still Waiting to Grow Up”
Good opinion columns lead to all
kinds of reaction. They can be polarizing leading to half the readers agreeing
with the columnist and the other half disagreeing. In this case, you brought
strong opinions and backed them up with facts nicely. Well done. Now, just make
sure you bring some thick skin because strong, entertaining opinions like yours
in this column will undoubtedly polarize your readers.
HONORABLE MENTION: Line Hellem of Ekgangervag, Norway, for “Chasing
her dream of wanting to fly”
Made it very relatable while keeping
it fun. I’m ready to fly!
HONORABLE MENTION: Madison Pollard of Surrey, England, for “Entitled,
Spectacle or Sport? Super Bowl XLVI”
Good perspective. You find a way to
bring the reader inside your head to better understand and relate to your
viewpoint even if we don’t share it.
of Deluth, Minnesota, for “
Speech Caps Unforgettable Week”
Although I would have liked to seen
this shot cropped a little tighter, out of all the entries this one told the
story without ever having to read a word of the accompanying copy. Alli brought
us into the bright lights and center stage. With the confetti streaming and the
Romney Ryan signs located throughout, I knew this was the culmination of a very
exciting moment. Nothing else needed to be said.
SECOND PLACE: Arooj Khalid, of Crescent Model Higher
Secondary School, Lahore, Pakistan, for “Garbage Pickers”
Again, I would have like to see a
tighter shot but Arooj managed to capture the despair of a young woman as she
and her donkey pulled, garbage laden cart travelled through a modern
neighborhood. The placement of the girl and her cart with the automobile in the
background showed the sharp contrast between the very poor and tomorrow’s politicians, engineers, journalists, doctors,
artists and businessmen.
HONORABLE MENTION: Yasser Alaa of Pharos
University, Alexandria, Egypt, for “Fire Dancer”
This was a beautiful
image, technically proficient and eye-catching. While it certainly told a
story, it is much more of a feature photo as opposed to a news photo.
FIRST PLACE: Daniel Rich, Roslyn High School, Roslyn
Heights, N.Y., for “Boys’ Varsity Basketball Hopes For Playoff Run”
This is another example of capturing peak
action moment. Daniel got in close and pointed the camera at a normal angle.
This allowed him to photograph the players’ bodies while in motion. There is a
bit too much roof but not too much that a nice crop cannot fix.

SECOND PLACE: Michelle Chavez, Montgomery
Blair High School, Silver Spring, Maryland, for “Good Council Tip Off”

While the peak of action is excellent, there is way too much roof in this
image. It looks like the picture was taken with a wide or normal angle lens. If
you only have a small lens to cover sporting events, you have to get closer to
the action.
Photographing basketball is much easier to do with less equipment than most
Next time please try positioning yourself along the baseline. If you bring your
lens down a bit you’ll be able to capture more of the athletes’ bodies and less
FIRST PLACE: Ella Creamer of Devon,
England, for “Bike Rack”
Good use of repetition and color,
and it tells a story. Also it was one of the only submissions that came in
close to their subject.
SECOND PLACE: Kaley Willis of
Sulphur High School, Sulphur, Louisiana, for “View from the Eiffel Tower”
Kaley earns second place for the
story her photo tells about the city’s view.
HONORABLE MENTION: Stephanie Hamann of The Barstow School,
Kansas City, Missouri, for “City of Fountains”
Kalyoncu and Mimoza Kalyoncu of Roslyn High School, Roslyn Heights, N.Y., for
“City Department Stores’ Christmas Windows Displays”

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