News Brief: WSPN wins big at JEA/NSPA spring convention


Credit: Jennifer McGillis

On Sat. April 23, the Wayland Student Press Network won second place in the Best of Show category and a fourth consecutive Online Pacemaker award. The Journalism Education Association (JEA) presented WSPN with the 2023 First Amendment Press Freedom Award. Nine students from WSPN also received awards in student media contests.

Emily Roberge

On April 22, the Wayland Student Press Network (WSPN) received second place in the NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) Best of Show Award for the smaller school website category and its fourth consecutive Online Pacemaker at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco, CA.

NSPA Best of Show Award for website category

Because of the differing sizes of high school publications, NSPA separates the Best of Show Award for online news into two categories: one category with high school enrollment under 1,800 students, and the other with enrollment over 1,800 students. WSPN earned second place in the Best of Show Award in the category with high school enrollment under 1,800 students. The NSPA Best of Show Awards ranks the best online news publications that attended the Spring National Journalism Convention. Only ten schools were selected for this prestigious award.

2023 Online Pacemaker winner

WSPN also won its fourth consecutive Online Pacemaker. The Pacemaker is given to student media publications that display excellence in journalism. Of the 26 Pacemaker finalists nationwide, only 13 winners were selected. Since 2008, WSPN has won the Pacemaker 11 times.

WSPN is honored with 2023 First Amendment Press Freedom Award

After learning on Feb. 23, that it had won the First Amendment Press Freedom Award, WSPN accepted the award on April 20, along with 15 other student publications nationally, at the spring convention. The award promotes student-run media without prior review and adheres to the ethics and responsibilities of protecting the First Amendment.

From left to right, Aimee Smith, Nadya Chase, Selena Liu, Nina Wilson, Tina Su, Reva Datar, Delia Caulfield, Hallie Luo and Tess Alongi hold their Journalism Education Association (JEA) student media contest award certificates. Credit: Brian Keaney

WSPN student media contest award recipients: 

While at the convention, student journalists participated in the Journalism Education Association (JEA) media contests. Some media contests required students to submit their work before the convention to receive on-site critiques, while other contests took place live. Listed in lowest ranking to highest ranking, contest awards are separated into three categories: honorable mention, excellent and superior.

Online news package, excellent award: Aimee Smith, Selena Liu and Nadya Chase.

Literary mag photography, excellent award: Hallie Luo

Broadcast feature story (online), honorable mention award:  Tess Alongi and Nina Wilson

Sports writing, honorable mention award: Delia Caulfield

News writing, honorable mention award: Tina Su

Commentary writing, honorable mention award: Reva Datar