Journalists win top state awards



Earning two first place writing awards in the state, reporters and editors of the Trojan Matters newsmagazine will have their work judged in a nationwide contest.

The National Federation of Press Woman has a state competition each year. Trojan Matters submitted three pieces and two of them won first place in the state.

In the editorial division, Sian Rhodes, senior, won for her continued work on the Literacy Matters project.  Her article, “Illiteracy hurts student, family and community,” earned high praise from the judge. “Excellent insight into a challenging subject. Great idea to share national statistics and include Indiana numbers as well. A very helpful way to bring this subject into perspective. Smart idea to bring quality of life into the equation, too. Outstanding call to action at the end. Well done!”

The staff has taken this subject on all year including a book drive, a charity spirit day as well as donations to a charter school in need of Spanish-language books.

Another winning piece, “Kneeling during National Anthem sparks debate” earned first place in sportswriting. Contributors to the 2-page spread were: Rhodes, sophomore Kacee Haslett, seniors Marissa Almack and Jacob deCastro, and junior Abby McDonald.

From the judge: “This is a great example of high school journalism at its finest. Taking a national issue that impacts your school, localizing it, and giving it the space it needs to explain the point. Your editorial team did a fantastic job of not only collecting local opinions on both sides of the issue, but explaining the context of the story enough so that it sufficiently explained the story.”

“This is a great example of high school journalism at its finest.” – WPCI judge

In addition, deCastro earned an honorable mention for his newswriting. Both of the first place stories will now go on to represent Indiana in the national contest for the NFPW. If the writers place in that contest, there will be money awarded to the reporter and to the school’s journalism program.  Mrs. Tracy Luke serves as publications adviser at BCHS.

BCHS was the only small school to win any awards in the competition. All other winners came from schools with a population of 2000 or more. Mrs. Luke said, “I am really proud of our work. We were under a really tight deadline to get this submitted. I wish we had entered more. These student journalists deserve all the recognition they get. They put in so many hours to produce such strong work.”