Journalism students win awards at national competition


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Seven journalism students earn national recognition from the JEA competition. Front row: Avery Neal (12), Layla Halilbasic (10), Eva Bidle (11), and Lejla Pozegic (10). Back row: Cassandra Ludwig (12), Meg Heveroh (12), and Jojo LaBrier (12)

Five journalism students spread across yearbook, broadcast, and newspaper were recognized for their hard work in the National Student Media Contest sponsored by the Journalism Education Association. The results were released April 10-11 on the JEA website.

In the broadcast section of the competition, Meg Heveroh (12) received an excellent rating in Videography and Eva Beidle (11) earned an honorable mention in Broadcast News Writing. 

In the Online News Package category, Cassandra Ludwig (12), JoJo Labrier (12), and Avery Neal (12) had to create an online newspaper article and a broadcast story based on the same prompt. This news package had earned these three students an honorable mention in their category. 

“The prompt of our stories was ‘Fight Against Discrimination in your Communities’,” said Ludwig. “It could be any form of discrimination and we decided on the Gay-Straight Alliance, because when the organization was created, they faced a lot of discrimination from teachers and staff. They really had to fight to get their start.” 

With a short deadline of two weeks and a lot of work, the students had to spend a lot of time inside and outside of school working on it. 

“We put a lot of effort into it,” said Neal. “We found out about two weeks before the deadline about what it was and how to do it, so we spent two weeks grinding it out and basically every day in our free time working on it and creating a masterpiece.” 

“There didn’t seem to be a minute of downtime,” said Labrier. “We used time from other classes to spend with our journalism teacher, [Mr. Jeff Kuchno], to get this done. There were even some nights where we would stay after school into the evening working on it. But when they announced that we had gotten the award it was pretty cool because you don’t realize how many people are involved until you win.” 

In the Yearbook contests, Layla Halilbasic (10) received an honorable mention in Yearbook Copy and Captions for Academics. Lejla Pozegic (10) was awarded an honorable mention in Yearbook Copy and Captions for Clubs. In both of these competitions the students were tasked with writing a story and captioning photos based on their category. 

“We were given information about an event at a school as well as photos they took from the event. I was in the school life category,” said Layla Halilbasic (10). “I had to write a story and captions about a new school policy. I was honestly surprised when I heard I won honorable mention, I made my entry about an hour before it was due. But I am still so proud of myself just for being recognized.” 

The OHS broadcast staff’s broadcast that was posted on March 19 earned Best of Show recognition at a national level through the National Scholastic Press Association. Channel 97 news placed sixth in the Broadcast News Program category. In its 11 years of existence, this is the fifth time that Channel 97 news has been awarded the Best of Show honor. This is also the first Best of Show recognition since the 2016-2017 school year.