Legend staffers take second place in Story of the Year competition

In+Minneapolis%2C+MN%2C+the+National+Scholastic+Press+Association+prepares+to+announce+Story+of+the+Year+contest+winners.+The+Urban+Legend+took+second+place+in+the+multimedia+category.

Beatrice Motamedi

In Minneapolis, MN, the National Scholastic Press Association prepares to announce Story of the Year contest winners. The Urban Legend took second place in the multimedia category.

Hannah Sears, Staff Writer

The Urban Legend’sProposition 8: Battling Over Same-Sex Marriage” multimedia package won second place for Story of the Year-Multimedia at the National Scholastic Press Association’s  High School Journalism Convention on Nov. 19.

Kai Matsumoto-Hines (’14) and Ian James (’14), journalism students from San Francisco’s Lowell High School, accepted the award in Minneapolis on the Legend’s behalf along with Legend adviser Beatrice Motamedi. The fall convention, from Nov. 17-20, drew approximately 4,500 students from across the nation.

The Story of the Year award is co-sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the NSPA. According to the NSPA website, the competition “recognizes initiative and original reporting of a situation, problem or issue affecting students. Judges look for entries which show leadership, quality writing, sensitivity and fairness.”

First-place honors for news story went to Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie City, Kan., for “The unknown face of cyberspace.An opinion piece by Shawnee, entitled “Time wasted,” also won first-place honors. In the feature story category, Penn Manor High School, in Millersville, Pa., won first place for its story “‘Life’ has a different meaning for juveniles tried as adults,” and Rock Bridge Senior High School, in Columbia, Mo., took a first for its sports story “Athletes turn to steroids.”

Marin County’s Redwood High School won first place for its diversity piece, entitled “Finding home: Sometimes people need a little luck.” First place for multimedia package went to DuPont High School for “Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigns.

A complete list of award winners can be found here.

“The awards this year were very, very competitive,” said Logan Aimone, executive director of the NSPA. Aimone added that the multimedia package award was a new category that will be expanded in the future to account for the increasing amount of student-produced multimedia journalism being published.

Motamedi praised students for sticking with a difficult story. “The Prop 8 story was a tough one to report — legally complex and logistically difficult,” she said. After student editors made the decision to cover the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearings on same-sex marriage on Dec. 17, an ‘inside’ team was organized to listen to the court hearings as they were streamed online, while an ‘outside’ team went to the courthouse in San Francisco to cover the demonstrations taking place on Seventh Street.

“By working together, staffers were able to produce outstanding journalism on deadline despite the difficulty of the material,” Motamedi said. “I am very proud of the Legend staff.”

The award singled out Adrienne von Schulthess, last year’s editor-in-chief, who designed the multimedia team coverage, along with web editors Emily Wen and Hannah Gorman, who were in charge of preparing and packaging the story for online publication.