wins online Pacemaker award


Jessica Lu

HARD AT WORK. Even after winning an award, the journalism staff is still wrapped up in work. This week is “deadline week,” during which the staff gets everything ready for the April issue of The Leaf. During this time, students go into the journalism room during lunch, ACE, and even after school.

With its inundation of deadlines and assignments, it is easy to get lost in the journalism workload.

However, all of the weekly beats (short articles), monthly issue stories, videos, photo galleries, and other pursuits were not done in vain.

On Sat. April 14, the staff of the Convergence journalism program learned that won the 2018 Online Pacemaker Award.

“Being on the staff for four years has required a lot of hard work. The readers do not usually see all the work that goes into the issues and maintaining our website.

“I am really glad that the work of all the staffers has paid off, and we were able to be recognized for this award,” said Emily Chien, 12.

The Online Pacemaker Award, by the National Scholastic Press Association, is a prestigious award that is only given to a select few among the 1,500 other competitors across the nation and in foreign nations.

The Online Pacemaker Award is the most prestigious award the website has received so far. It is comparable to the Pulitzer in the realm of student journalism.

According to NSPA’s judges, the website was judged by professionals based on “coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics.”

While the journey from entry to winner was the culmination of each staffer’s hard work, the special effort by Executive Web Editor senior Harsimran Makkad was crucial to bring the site from finalist to winner.

“I had to make sure the website was updated every single day, even over break and the weekends. Sometimes it was a last minute scramble to get pictures, articles, emailing people, writing a bunch of articles myself.

“Essentially it was all about making sure that the website was the best it could be at the moment, whether that was responding to different events that were occurring or to the way images work or redesigning the site to make it more viewer friendly; I was really working about three to six hours every night,” said Makkad.

Witnessing the development of over the last three years, journalism students are ecstatic to see their work achieve recognition.