FORT MILL — Extra, extra, read all about it!
Journalists for The Talon, the Nation Ford High School newspaper, have earned awards in the Excellence in Scholastic Newspaper contest.
Co-editors Davy Kesey and Micah Burris won a second place award for front page design.
The edition they submitted for judging featured a photo of the Nation Ford High School Homecoming court on the front cover. The Talon is a tabloid size newspaper, a size Kesey and Burris switched to recently because they thought it would be more user friendly for students and, Kesey said, more visually appealing.
The visual appeal of The Talon is important to Kesey. The most recent edition features an off-center black and white photo of a girl. Only a portion of her face is visible.
They were going for a Time magazine look, he said.
I thought that having 500 copies of this girls face would make people want to know why she was on it, he said.
We were just trying to make it so that people would want to pick it up and look at it, Burris said.
Their plan is working. Though the newspaper staff has decreased the number of newspapers they print from 1,000 down to 500 theyre distributing more newspapers than ever. They distribute 400 newspapers regularly, compared to around half that previously.
That kind of progress is exciting for journalism teacher Chuck Walker.
"The most rewarding part of teaching journalism is watching student journalists develop ways to captivate an audience, Walker said.
Keseys think outside-the-box attitude extends beyond the cover. When trying to think of ideas for an editorial, he tries to think of things that are unexpected, he said. His editorial, with the headline We are to blame for inconvenient rules, won a first place award. Kesey also won a third place award for advertising.
Kara Copeland won first place in News Features for an article that exposed halted progress on construction projects at the high school. This was the first article Copeland had written for the newspaper.
She agrees that the design of the newspaper has helped increase readership, but argues that the strength of the articles inside have helped keep readers coming back for more.
I think the design makes people pick it up but what is inside makes them keep reading it, she said.
Corinne Bonnema was awarded third place in the Computer Graphics category, for a graphic she ran alongside an article about a Future Business Leaders of America March of Dimes fundraiser. The graphic gives bullet point facts about premature births and the March of Dimes organization.
John Milligan won third place for his column, Milligans Mysteries: Wood, the hard facts. Milligan writes, with great flair, about the dimensions of 2X4 wood and why they are not actually 2X4.
"I am very proud of these student journalists because they took the initiative to do their best to report the news to their peers, said Walker.