Congratulations to our 2020 Newspaper & Digital News winners!

May 14, 2020


Whether it was dealing with a Chicago teachers strike in the fall or a statewide closure of schools in the spring, Illinois high school journalists have faced a truly daunting array of challenges this year — and they have risen to the occasion!

In recognition of the outstanding work they’ve done, including coverage of COVID-19 and its impact on their school communities, we are proud to announce the following winners of the 2020 IJEA Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest:

 


How the Contest Was Organized


Member publications could submit work published between March 2019 and March 2020. Schools that entered the contest were assigned to a division based on enrollment.

The 2020 competition featured five divisions, from smallest schools (Division 1, enrollment 700 or fewer) to largest (Division 5, enrollment 2,651 or more).

The contest offered 31 categories in which students could compete, including a special timely category devoted to COVID-19 coverage. These categories allowed us to recognize the great variety of student journalism being produced by print, digital and hybrid publications.

The 31 categories were divided into three types:

  • CORE | Twenty categories open to all media, print and digital
  • PRINT | Five categories open to print-only media and print versions of hybrid media
  • DIGITAL | Five categories open to digital-only media and online versions of hybrid media
  • SPECIAL | One category (Best COVID-19 Coverage) open to all media, print and digital

 


Overall Awards & Our Scoring System


The top three point-scoring publications in each division received certificates indicating first, second or third place for Best Overall Publication within their respective divisions. In addition, certificates were awarded to each division’s top three print-only publications (Best Print Publication), top three digital-only publications (Best Digital Publication) and top three hybrids (Best Hybrid Publication).

Publications earned points based on how they placed in each category except for the special category of COVID-19 coverage, which did not count for points. All other categories followed the scoring system outlined below. Congratulations to all of our winners — and to everyone who competed and all of the journalism professionals who served as judges!

  • 1st place = 5 points
  • 2nd place = 4 points
  • 3rd place = 3 points
  • Honorable mention = 1 point

 


DIVISION 1 BEST PUBLICATIONS


The following publications were the top point scorers in Division 1. The “Best Overall” honor went to the publication that earned the most points regardless of type (print, digital or hybrid).

For complete results in each D1 category as well as links to all winning entries, click the following link:

 


D1 Best Print Publication | Publication that appears in print only


  • 1st: The Purple Clarion, Harrisburg H.S., Cathy Wall, adviser
  • 2nd: Tiger News Today, Herscher H.S., Kerri Robinson, adviser

 


D1 Best Digital Publication | Publication that appears online only


  • 1st: Meridian Daily, Meridian H.S., Sheila Moore, adviser
  • 2nd: The Phoenix Chronicle, Phoenix Military Academy, Katie Fernandez, adviser
  • 3rd: Launch Pad, Okawville H.S., Dana Donovan, adviser

 


D1 Best Hybrid Publication | Publication appearing in print and online


  • 1st: U-High Midway, University of Chicago Laboratory H.S., Logan Aimone, adviser

 


D1 Best Overall Publication | Most points regardless of publication type


  • 1st: U-High Midway, University of Chicago Laboratory H.S., Logan Aimone, adviser
  • 2nd: The Meridian Daily, Meridian H.S., Sheila Moore, adviser
  • 3rd: The Purple Clarion, Harrisburg H.S., Cathy Wall, adviser
  • HM: Tiger News Today, Herscher H.S., Kerri Robinson, adviser

 


DIVISION 2 BEST PUBLICATIONS


The following publications were the top point scorers in Division 2. The “Best Overall” honor went to the publication that earned the most points regardless of type (print, digital or hybrid).

For complete results in each D2 category as well as links to all winning entries, click the following link:

 


D2 Best Print Publication | Publication that appears in print only


  • 1st: The Zephyr, Taylorville H.S., Stephen Steele, adviser
  • 2nd: Shield, Richwoods H.S., Dan Kerns, adviser
  • 3rd: Bogan Bytes, Bogan Computer Technical H.S., Maria Baltsas, adviser

 


D2 Best Hybrid Publication | Publication appearing in print and online


  • 1st: Paw Print, Walter Payton College Prep H.S., Michelle Mowery, adviser
  • 2nd: The Pritzker Press, Pritzker College Prep, H.S., Katie Curtin, adviser
  • 3rd: Viator Voice, Saint Viator H.S., Chris Paolelli, adviser

 


D2 Best Overall Publication | Most points regardless of publication type


  • 1st: Paw Print, Walter Payton College Prep H.S., Michelle Mowery, adviser
  • 2nd: The Zephyr, Taylorville H.S., Stephen Steele, adviser
  • 3rd: The Pritzker Press, Pritzker College Prep, H.S., Katie Curtin, adviser
  • HM: Viator Voice, Saint Viator H.S., Chris Paolelli, adviser
  • HM: Shield, Richwoods H.S., Dan Kerns, adviser

 


DIVISION 3 BEST PUBLICATIONS


The following publications were the top point scorers in Division 3. The “Best Overall” honor went to the publication that earned the most points regardless of type (print, digital or hybrid).

For complete results in each D3 category as well as links to all winning entries, click the following link:

 


D3 Best Print Publication | Publication that appears in print only


  • 1st: The Advocate, Washington Community H.S., Jennifer Reiser, adviser
  • 2nd: The Sentinel, Marist H.S., John Gonczy, adviser

 


D3 Best Hybrid Publication | Publication appearing in print and online


  • 1st: Drops of Ink, Libertyville H.S., Michael Gluskin, adviser
  • 2nd: Kaneland Krier, Kaneland H.S., Dominic Bruno, adviser
  • 3rd: The Mustang, Mundelein H.S., Michelle Didzbalis, adviser
  • HM: The Knight Times, Grayslake North H.S., Brenda Smith, adviser

 


D3 Best Overall Publication | Most points regardless of publication type


  • 1st: Drops of Ink, Libertyville H.S., Michael Gluskin, adviser
  • 2nd: Kaneland Krier, Kaneland H.S., Dominic Bruno, adviser
  • 3rd: The Mustang, Mundelein H.S., Michelle Didzbalis, adviser
  • HM: The Advocate, Washington Community H.S., Jennifer Reiser, adviser
  • HM: The Knight Times, Grayslake North H.S., Brenda Smith, adviser
  • HM: The Sentinel, Marist H.S., John Gonczy, adviser

 


DIVISION 4 BEST PUBLICATIONS


The following publications were the top point scorers in Division 4. The “Best Overall” honor went to the publication that earned the most points regardless of type (print, digital or hybrid).

For complete results in each D4 category as well as links to all winning entries, click the following link:

 


D4 Best Digital Publication | Publication that appears online only


  • 1st: The Howl, Oswego East H.S., Justin Howard Query, adviser
  • 2nd: PHS Cutlass, Palatine H.S., Sean Berleman, adviser

 


D4 Best Hybrid Publication | Publication appearing in print and online


  • 1st: The Prospector, Prospect H.S., Jason Block, adviser
  • 2nd: NCHS Inkspot, Normal Community H.S., Brad Bovenkerk, adviser
  • 3rd: The McHenry Messenger, McHenry H.S., Dane Erbach, adviser
  • HM: The Omega, Downers Grove North H.S., Elizabeth Levin, adviser
  • HM: The Glen Bard, Glenbard West H.S., Carolyn Fritts, adviser

 


D4 Best Overall Publication | Most points regardless of publication type


  • 1st: The Prospector, Prospect H.S., Jason Block, adviser
  • 2nd: NCHS Inkspot, Normal Community H.S., Brad Bovenkerk, adviser
  • 3rd: The Howl, Oswego East H.S., Justin Howard Query, adviser
  • HM: The McHenry Messenger, McHenry H.S., Dane Erbach, adviser
  • HM: The Omega, Downers Grove North H.S., Elizabeth Levin, adviser
  • HM: The Glen Bard, Glenbard West H.S., Carolyn Fritts, adviser
  • HM: PHS Cutlass, Palatine H.S., Sean Berleman, adviser

 


DIVISION 5 BEST PUBLICATIONS


The following publications were the top point scorers in Division 5. The “Best Overall” honor went to the publications that earned the most points regardless of type (print, digital or hybrid).

For complete results in each D5 category as well as links to all winning entries, click the following link:

 


D5 Best Hybrid Publication | Publication appearing in print and online


  • 1st: The Oracle, Glenbrook South H.S., Bob Wysocki, adviser
  • 2nd: Blueprint, Downers Grove South H.S., Mary Long, adviser
  • 3rd (tie): Central Times, Naperville Central H.S., Keith Carlson, adviser
  • 3rd (tie): The Voice, Huntley H.S., Dennis Brown, adviser
  • HM: Lion, Lyons Township H.S., Jason Scales, adviser
  • HM: New Trier News, New Trier H.S., Carlo Trovato, adviser
  • HM: Statesman, Stevenson H.S., Dean Bradshaw, adviser

 


D5 Best Overall Publication | Most points regardless of publication type


  • 1st: The Oracle, Glenbrook South H.S., Bob Wysocki, adviser
  • 2nd: Blueprint, Downers Grove South H.S., Mary Long, adviser
  • 3rd (tie): Central Times, Naperville Central H.S., Keith Carlson, adviser
  • 3rd (tie): The Voice, Huntley H.S., Dennis Brown, adviser
  • HM: Lion, Lyons Township H.S., Jason Scales, adviser
  • HM: New Trier News, New Trier H.S., Carlo Trovato, adviser
  • HM: Statesman, Stevenson H.S., Dean Bradshaw, adviser

 


Dave Porreca, CJE, former adviser of the nine-time NSPA Pacemaker finalist Gargoyle student newspaper at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School in Urbana and former IJEA president, administered the contest. Prof. Linda Jones, IJEA executive director and journalism professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, oversaw the recruitment of contest judges, who were drawn from the ranks of experienced journalists and educators.

An enthusiastic congratulations to all newspaper and digital news media staffs and advisers! We are proud of the amazing work you do each year throughout Illinois. Best of luck as you end an eventful school year. For those who will be returning, we can’t wait to see what you produce next year!

 


Front-page montage created by Dave Porreca, CJE. Congratulations to the publications featured clockwise from top left: Libertyville’s Drops of Ink, Huntley’s The Voice, Stevenson’s Statesman, Prospect’s The Prospector, Saint Viator’s Viator Voice and University of Chicago Laboratory High School’s U-High Midway!

 

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