JagWire nominated for second Pacemaker

JagWire newspaper staff Pacemaker finalist back to back years

Junior Claire Boone and Lexi Flipse work together on their project.

Grace Lovett, JAG reporter/photographer

The Mill Valley newspaper staff — the JagWire— became a finalist the second year in a row on Wednesday, July 13 for the National Pacemaker Award.

The Pacemaker Awards are awarded  for excellence in American student journalism, and have been granted since 1927. The Pacemaker contest critiques the publications on six aspects: coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics.

The 2014-2015 staff placed in the top 25, and received a Pacemaker. Last year’s staff is still awaiting results, but are in the top 50 out of 266 newspapers.

NSPA, the organization that hands out the Pacemakers, said that the award is for sites that “…had compelling content — stories that made the reader want to stay and keep reading the site, which can be a tricky feat to accomplish.”

Journalism advisor Kathy Habiger appreciates the recognition for the staff’s hard work.

“It’s fabulous for anyone to tell you they value the work that you’re doing, [it]doesn’t matter who it is,” Habiger said. “To have this group say that they think you’re among the 50 best in the nation, that’s really cool.”

Habiger also credits most of the staff’s success in winning the Pacemaker to the 2016 graduated staff members.

“The seniors lead the way for us and were heavy contributors to being a Pacemaker finalist,” Habiger said.

Being a finalist for the Pacemaker Award for the 2015-2016 newspaper holds a lot significance to the current staff and junior photographer Claire Boone.

“I think it meant a lot, especially to the seniors who graduated because I know they slaved away and worked so hard for that. They really wanted to do it for Habiger and for the school as a whole because I think journalism is a little underappreciated,” Boone said.

Pacemaker winners will be revealed at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis on November 10-13.

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