A program produced by Lee’s Summit High School students is among the nation’s top scholastic broadcast news programs recently recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association.
A Nov. 9, 2016, Tiger Broadcast news show was among 15 finalists in the association’s Pacemaker competition. Editors of the 12-minute program were Jaclyn Berry and Jared Newell. Adviser is Elaine McDonald. The broadcast is available at this link.
“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award and is often called the Pulitzer Prize of scholastic journalism,” said Laura Widmer, executive director. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”
The NSPA Pacemaker award has a rich tradition and started just a few years after the organization was founded in 1921. The Pacemaker was added for broadcasting in 1996 to reflect its growing importance at the high school level. Each school entered three programs from the 2016-2017 school year. A team of three judges from College Broadcasters, Inc. viewed each entry discussing its strengths and weaknesses.
The judging team praised the overall quality of the entries: “The Pacemaker-winning entries stood out for their quality, not only in the production, but in the stories being told, the writing, editing and hosting, and the willingness to tackle controversial topics. These were exceptional newscasts start to finish.”
Shows were divided into live and pre-recorded categories. The frequency of the broadcast was also considered with daily shows competing in a category, with weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or less-frequently in another.
The 15 Pacemaker finalists included 14 high schools and one middle school representing eight states. Of the 15 Pacemaker finalists, eight will be named Pacemaker winners. In all, there were 55 entries.
Insights and observations from the judges about the Pacemaker winning broadcasts will be posted when the Pacemaker winners are announced along with professional bios of the judges. Broadcast Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 16-19 in Dallas.