The National Scholastic Press Association has recognized the Foothill Dragon Press as an All-American publication for the second year in a row. The NSPA, which provides journalism education services to students and teachers around the world, awards the title to high school journalism programs that score well on a critique given by a NSPA judge.
Editor in Chief Anaika Miller has led the Dragon Press staff since the beginning of last year and was not surprised when she heard the news on January 5.
“I am most proud of how the staff has come together this year, we’re more of a family now,” Miller said. “We’re continuing to perform at an impressive level because we are working for each other, and this award shows that.”
Foothill was awarded 3,750 points out of a possible 4,300 by NSPA judge Michelle Fahring from Attica, Kan.
In order to achieve All-American status, a website must receive 3,400 points or more and at least four Marks of Distinction.
Each website was ranked by the NSPA judges in five categories: coverage and content, interactivity and community, breaking news, design and navigation, and rich media. Fahring awarded the Dragon Press all five possible marks of distinction. The news site received many positive comments from Fahring.
“[The Foothill Dragon Press] includes web exclusive content such as photos, video, etc,” Fahring said. “Coverage appears to be comprehensive, focusing on many aspects of the high school community including news, sports, features, opinions, A&E, etc. Choosing the right medium is an important factor in the success of an online newspaper.”
Fahring also complimented the rich media the site offers.
“All photos and video are adequately lit and well composed,” she said. “A variety of shots are present in photos and video including action, candids, long shots, close shots and details shots.”
Assistant Multimedia Editor and sophomore Aysen Tan attributes the award to how well the staff works together.
“We have a really great staff who are dedicated and have the ability to work together,” Tan said. “Everyone’s ability to learn on the spot while taking great photos and bring a great story to readers makes the paper the best it can be.”
Dragon Press advisor and English teacher Melissa Wantz was also pleased with the staff members’ achievement.
“Our goal is to get ten All-American awards in a row and make the journalism hall of fame,” Wantz said. “We take this seriously and serve our community to the best of our abilities.”