On April 4, the Old Rochester Regional High School journalism class, aka the Paw Prints staff, took a field trip to Suffolk University in Boston for the Greater Boston High School Journalism Awards.
Hosted by Suffolk University’s Department of Communications and Journalism, the competition and award ceremony is a program for high school students involved with journalism not only to recognize their hard work and success but also to provide an incentive for those pursuing a career in the field.
The incentive comes in the form of three scholarships awarded to the winners of three out of the five awards. The scholarships are for any student attending the high school who won an award and wishes to attend Suffolk University for Journalism.
The scholarships are good for one year and vary in size. The scholarship for the Excellence in Editorial Writing award is $1,500 toward a freshman year at the university. The scholarship for the Excellence in Sports Writing award is also $1,500 toward freshman year. The most prestigious award of the competition, the Excellence in News Writing award, gains the largest scholarship: $3,500.
There were two other awards presented over the course of the night. The Excellence in Online Journalism Award, a newer addition, goes to the high school newspapers that are embracing the increasing switch to technology. The final award of the night, the Massachusetts Press Association Award for General Excellence, goes to the newspaper that the judge panel saw as best all-around. While the other awards focused on writing and reporting, this award considered all aspects of the publications.
Forty-two schools participated in the competition. While Paw Prints did not win any awards, it was still an informative, inspiring night for those who are interested in the field.
The night opened with a speech from Steve Bulpett, a Boston Celtics beat writer for the Boston Herald. After the speech, he took questions from the audience, ranging from how to make a name for yourself in the field to how to get more information out of tricky interview subjects.
After the speech, the awards were presented by Dr. Richard Preiss, the coordinator of the competition, and Dr. Robert Rosenthal, longtime Chairman of the Department of Communications and Journalism at Suffolk.
A catered buffet banquet was provided after the award ceremony, where students from different schools got to mingle and discuss their newspapers.
The Paw Prints staff left school early and carpooled to the train in Lakeville/Middleboro. Only nine students from the staff could make the trip, as it went from about 12:00 to 9:00 pm.
By Jessica Correia