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Announcing the Blue and Gold Awards

Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists recognized six scholastic media staffs with the inaugural Blue and Gold Awards launched this year in conjunction with the organization’s 90th anniversary. These awards honor high school journalism programs that excelled in the International Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest. Top publishing teams will also be recognized in the upcoming Yearbook Excellence Contest.

The Blue and Gold Awards are presented to top staffs based on individual student performance in the following categories: Comprehensive Writing, Comprehensive Visuals and Staff Excellence. The winning staffs are:

Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, received the Staff Excellence Award for overall excellence in its publication. It is the highest Blue and Gold Award a staff can receive.

Three schools received the Comprehensive Writing Award: Lakota East High School in Liberty Township, Ohio; Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, California; and Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, for overall excellence in writing, including editorials, features and news. Health, science and agricultural writing was added as a category this year.

Four schools were presented the Comprehensive Visuals Award: Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas; McKinney High School in McKinney, Texas; Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas; and Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, were recognized for overall excellence in visuals, including graphic design, photography, infographics and photo illustrations.

With the founding of the Blue and Gold Awards, the Society continues supporting and recognizing schools for their journalistic endeavors, not just for individual achievements but for staffs as a whole.

Dow Jones News Fund magazine goes digital

Dow Jones News Fund magazine goes digital

Since 1968, the Dow Jones News Fund has produced a free print publication for high school journalism teachers and media advisers – providing a place to trade teaching tips and curriculum ideas, pass on real-world newsroom advice and showcase students’ award-winning work.

After more than 47 years of publishing in print, the Dow Jones News Fund moved Adviser Update to a digital publishing platform, where it remains a go-to source of information and inspiration in scholastic journalism.

This new platform makes Adviser Update accessible by smartphone, computer or tablet. Each issue can be emailed to subscribers (subscribe here), shared on social media (follow us) and accessible online at

Articles feature videos, slideshows and links to resources. Our showcase of student work is much more interactive, allowing readers to view multiple pages and click through to the online versions. Columnists can share their work on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Adrienne Forgette, editor in chief, leads the digital transformation directed by Heather Taylor, DJNF manager of digital media and programs. Forgette, media arts director at Darlington School of

Rome, Ga., gave Adviser Update a new look with fresh voices and new topics.

“George Taylor’s two-decade legacy as the editor of Adviser Update has left a strong foundation to build upon. I am excited to transition the publication to its online interactive format while keeping the staple columns Taylor has cultivated over the years,” Forgette said.

Forgette brings more than 10 years of experience teaching and advising high school students. She is the media arts director at Darlington School where she designed and teaches three media arts classes. She advises a number of award-winning publications including the Jabberwokk Yearbook, the Darlingtonian news website, and the Inkslinger literary magazine. She has also worked as a freelance reporter for Martha’s Vineyard Times and blogged for

“Every day I am in awe of the stories I hear and see on social media and various listservs from my fellow media advisers across the country. My goal is to shine a light on what they are doing with their programs to help and to inspire us all to become better,” Forgette said.

Forgette’s classroom and newsroom experience plus her knowledge of design and new media, made her the perfect match for the new Adviser Update.

She has already introduced a few new voices in this spring’s issue. Look at the “What I Wish I’d Known” column, in which college students share their experiences in journalism school and challenges they face, along with tips for teachers on what to teach and how to organize staffs to prepare students for college media.

“Some of us have strong connections to schools of journalism, yet some of us are English teachers who teach journalism on the side and have never stepped foot in one. The goal of this column is to not only get feedback on the relevance of our high school curriculum but to also give us and our students a glimpse into college newsrooms,” Forgette said.

Another important aspect of going digital is the ability to know and engage with our readers. We can track readership and click-through rates, and engage our audience on social media.

We are also reaching beyond analytics to engage teachers and professionals. The News Fund is forming an Adviser Update editorial board, a volunteer group to advise on content and topics for each issue. (To express interest in serving on the editorial board, email; the board will meet quarterly via conference call.)

Our main goal is to offer a publication that inspires those who care about scholastic journalism to push past boundaries to better prepare students in navigating the new media landscape toward successful careers in journalism.

We hope you will join the conversation, subscribe now to Adviser Update.

By Heather Taylor, DJN



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Database connects pros with scholastic media

Society of Professional Journalists members and local chapters want to share their expertise with elementary, middle and high school journalism programs. Teachers and students can use the Journalism Education Database, created by SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee, to locate mentors, supporters and instructors.

“Recent research shows that many middle and high school journalism teachers feel overwhelmed by their lack of training opportunities and inability to find local mentors,” said SPJ Journalism Education Committee Chair Butler Cain. “SPJ wishes to inspire successive generations of talented individuals to become dedicated journalists. With this database, it’s our hope that all student journalists will be able to receive the encouragement and assistance they need to pursue a future in journalism.”

Nearly 40 professional journalists from across the country have signed up to share their knowledge and experiences, whether it is by conducting a video-conference with student journalists, discussing successful teaching techniques with journalism teachers, or visiting a local classroom to discuss journalism topics.

© 2012 | Quill and Scroll

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