AUBURN, Maine, U.S.A. – Teenage journalists around the world turned out an astonishing array of important work in 2020 that helped capture one of the most difficult, dangerous and strange years in generations.
“Student reporters dug into the biggest story in decades, one that encompassed the whole world and upended everyone’s life,” said Steve Collins, co-founder and board president of Youth Journalism International.
YJI’s annual contest recognized some of the best of that effort, from compelling writing to images that will linger in memory for a long time to come.
The entries were so solid, so good, that judges found it particularly hard to choose.
“With so much happening in a short, yet devastatingly long year, these entries gave me much pause and the selections were not easy,” said Wendy Riling, a judge who lives in Florida.
Another judge, Geraldine Soon-Sachse of Hong Kong, said the quality of the submissions made for some “incredibly tough decisions.”
The top award in the contest, for Student Journalist of the Year, went to Daisy Carter of the Alaska Teen Media Institute in Anchorage, Alaska, who had to shelve plans to focus on school violence issues in order to plunge into the pandemic and its impact.
But covid-19 wasn’t everything.
Salma Amrou of Suffolk, Virginia, won the Frank Keegan “Take No Prisoners” Award for News for her story about a medical intern’s experience when a gigantic explosion rocked Beirut last summer.
The Jacinta Marie Bunnell Award for Commentary went to Aileen Cevallos of Quito, Ecuador for an opinion piece urging the world to “stop expecting young women to be insecure.”
Another top winner was Baruch Zohar of North Toronto Collegiate Institute in Canada, chosen as Journalism Educator of the Year after a handful of his current and former students raved about him with an enthusiasm rarely seen in the 12 years this contest has existed.
The competition gives out five crystal trophies most years for its leading categories. All the other winners get custom-made award certificates.
One of the trophy categories, the Special Award for Courage in Journalism, was given to a young person whose name cannot be disclosed because it might that reporter or the reporter’s family at risk. We hope to announce it in the future when conditions change.
All told, YJI’s contest had winners in 16 countries and 17 U.S. states.
The nonprofit Youth Journalism International has been educating the next generation of news professionals since 1994. It is a 501(c)(3) educational public charity. Its website can be found at youthjournalism.org.
The contest covered work published in English during 2019 by non-professional student journalists aged 19 and under.
A complete list of winners, with comments by judges in italics, is below the video of the awards ceremony.
Student Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Daisy Carter of Alaska Teen Media Institute, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.
Daisy Carter, active since 2017 with the terrific Alaska Teen Media Institute and now writing for her college paper, didn’t let the pandemic keep her down. When 2020 began, she dug in on her most ambitious journalism project so far, envisioned as a series of podcasts about “the epidemic of mass shootings and safety protocols in American schools,” according to John Kendall, a mentor at the Alaska nonprofit. She interviewed teachers, administrators, students and more only to hit the stop button on the entire project when COVID-19 arose and shut down schools and the studio.
“But that didn’t squash Daisy’s spirit,” Kendall said. She quickly leapt to a key role in a new series of podcasts about youth stories from quarantine. At her college, she wrote all sorts of pieces, from hard news to movie reviews, churning out material at an astonishing clip. She did it all with “warmth, understanding and curiosity,” as well, Kendall said.
It’s always hard to pick a winner in this category. There are so many admirable young journalists, including finalists Victoria Feng and Erin Kim.
Victoria Feng of Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, U.S.A.
Erin Kim of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Journalism Educator of the Year
WINNER: Baruch Zohar of North Toronto Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Canada
One student, now in college, said that when she entered high school, “I didn’t know calculus, or the periodic table, or the definition of a modifying clause. What I did know was that there was a teacher at my new school named Mr. Zohar who nobody could shut up about.” She soon found out why.
Rarely have we seen anyone rave about a journalism teacher with the enthusiasm shown by Baruck Zohar’s students and former students. One said that “his warm smile, comforting wisdom, and unsinkable sense of humor” grounded her during the “isolation and uncertainty” of the pandemic. Another explained that Zohar took over as the school paper’s advisor two decades ago and kept it flourishing during a period when two-thirds of the student publications in Ontario shut down. “He loves his students and values student journalism,” a student said. Another said Zuhar “knew that through journalism, we could experience the world, and that writing was the best way for students to inspire each other.” A great teacher, too, can inspire others. Zohar is clearly one of them.
See a short video some of his students made about their experience with Zohar.
Tom Hayes of Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.
Rob Lindquist of Thomas Jefferson High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa, U.S.A.
Special Award for Courage in Journalism
WINNER: Name withheld to protect the student honoree.
We regret that we cannot publicly announce the name of the 2021 Courage in Journalism winner out of concern for the safety of that young reporter. This young person had to navigate the tricky balance between telling the truth about what happens in their country and what its government permits. The winner of the courage award has always ensured that truth triumphs, which is not a given in any of the many places where reporters can end up jailed or worse. This brave reporter carefully used words to fairly and honestly tell what goes on while trying to avoid running afoul of authorities for whom a free press, at any age, is just an obstacle to crush.
We hope the situation will change enough to allow for a public announcement at a later date.
Noelle Griffin of Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas, for her persistence in covering racial justice protests with excellent photography in “Not a Moment, A Movement.”
Sehar Chowdry of New Delhi, India, for “Why Indian Schools Need Better Sex Education.”
Frank Keegan ‘Take No Prisoners’ Award for News
WINNER: Salma Amrouof Nansemond River High School, Suffolk, Virginia, for “Surviving the Beirut blast.”
Salma’s story “Surviving the Beirut Blast” brings home the horror of an explosion last summer that devastated a section of the Lebanese capital. A medical intern told Salma that the hospital’s roof collapsed and “because, you know, the dust – everything – the lights went off, electricity went off, so everything goes dark. And there’s like, I don’t know if it’s a fraction of a second or hours – but complete silence. And you’re just waiting and you’re thinking … Something happened. Somehow, I’m still alive. And we have to get out of here now.” It’s a gripping story that sticks with any reader.
Hudson Fox of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “The City of Good Living seeks to expand affordable housing options.”
Manar Lezaar of the American School Fes in Fez, Morocco, for “Full of despair: three voices from Yemen.”
Jacinta Marie Bunnell Award for Commentary
WINNER: Aileen Cevallos of Colegio Aleman Quito, Quito, Ecuador, for “Stop expecting young women to be insecure.”
Aileen’s piece, “Stop expecting young women to be insecure,” points to “an endless list of insecurities” that keep young women putting themselves down and fretting about their appearance, tugging at shirts in front of mirrors “trying to look different.” Because society “expects girls to lack confidence,” Aileen wrote, they often carry “a toxic mindset.”
“What if we could for once make it normal for girls to be secure about themselves?” Aileen asked. “Let’s stop normalizing hating ourselves and start celebrating our achievements and who we are.”
It’s a piece that answers the crucial question — “What do you think?” – that is the legacy of Jacinta Bunnell.
Olivia Silvey of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri.
Sarah Gandluri of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Olney, Maryland, for “Fearing racist violence, they’re locked in their American home.”
Katrina Machetta of Klein Collins High School, Spring, Texas, for “Student Voice: Every vote and voice deserves to be heard.”
NEWS STORY, INDIVIDUAL REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Molly Higgins of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “KHS alumni share stories of sexual abuse.”
SECOND PLACE: Allison Raisner of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Staff Votes ‘No Confidence’ in Superintendent.”
HONORABLE MENTION: Audrey Seo of Sunny Hills High School, Fullerton, California, for “More students opting to switch back to learning from their homes as COVID cases increase in OC.”
NEWS STORY, TEAM REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Elizabeth Sanchez, Brandon Drey, Cain Hernandez, Dillon Hulse, Ashley Javelosa, Susan Lorenzana, Kelly Nunez, Allison Perez, Esmeralda Perez, Brittany Plunkett, Joel Ruditsky, Kina Sonikangchea, Ty Spence, Kristen Thomas, Manuel Valladares and Justin Conjurski of California State University, Long Beach in Long Beach California for “News out of the class.”
During a difficult and scary time – the start of the pandemic – the coverage from this group was calm and thorough. It also served as an eerie time capsule with unforgettable images of deserted student quads, classrooms and gymnasiums and lines at big-box retailers. Credit goes to the students for calmly carrying on to deliver the news at a time of uncertainty and fear that also consistently reminded viewers how they could observe health guidelines to stay safe.
SECOND PLACE: Natalie King and Myles Woodman of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Re-Opening.”
Included an essential rundown of what students needed to know.
MULTIMEDIA NEWS INDIVIDUAL
FIRST PLACE: Payton Zolck of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Peninsula Humane Society and local shelters adopt new safety measures due to COVID-19.”
Payton Zolck impressed the judges with her story on how an animal shelter in California is reacting to COVID-19. Despite an increase in demand for foster care and adoption, the establishment adhered to measures for the public’s safety. The reporter spoke to the relevant people and made use of the available audio-visual tools to explain the story accurately to the audience.
SECOND PLACE: Phoebe Gulsen of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Local stores run out of supplies due to COVID-19.”
Phoebe Gulsen delivered a timely story on how people panicked in the initial days of the coronavirus pandemic. The field interviews with customers as well as the store manager offering possible reasons for the panic buying impressed the judges.
Kiana George of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Chef for the Polls feeds democracy.”
MULTIMEDIA NEWS TEAM
FIRST PLACE: Ashley Ferrer, Leni Steinhardt, Dara Rosen, Brianna Fisher, Ava Steil, Zoe Gordon, Fallon Trachtman, Darian Williams, Brianna Jesionowski, Kacie Shatzkamer, Nadia Murillo, Anisah Steele, Ivy Lam, Lily Singer, Bryan Nguyen, Matthew Rosenthal and Fenton Aristhomene of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida, for “Taking on Tallahassee: Teachers rally in state capitol to demand funding for public education.”
Excellent use of multi-media. represented the event with emotion and creativity, captured the viewer’s attention with photos, audio, post-production editing for effect, video, slow-motion, cut-aways and more. The piece was very well-timed and memorable. Diversity of attendees in age and appearance was represented and the reporters showed the teachers, leaders, and children affected. Excellent work.
SECOND PLACE: Phoebe Gulsen and Ruya Yaman of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “COVID 19 Beyond the States.”
Excellent Interviews showing a great diversity of location and experience. Very informative and a good piece of work. The use of video as well as other clips and photo cutaways made for an effective multi-media piece. Touching on the responsibility of the individual and the difference in government response as well was a great topic to cover.
ENTERPRISE, INDIVIDUAL REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Manar Lezaar of American School, Fes, in Fez, Morocco, for “Life getting better for Moroccan LGBTQ community.”
This was a fascinating piece on transitioning attitudes towards sexuality and gender identity, told directly by activists in the space. I appreciated hearing the first-hand account of people who have adapted and developed new channels to amplify people’s voices. This piece nods to the sensitivity of the issue while allowing the activists’ hope to shine through.
SECOND PLACE: Sophie Henschel of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Off The Camera, Under the Influence.”
This piece was a gripping account of teens who use substances to cope with the stresses of remote learning during the pandemic. This journalist introduced a sophisticated level of nuance into a discussion that is often flat (cue flashbacks to the “just say no to drugs” seminars many of us attended as students) – she adeptly weaved in the perspectives of students, teachers, and medical professionals on this tough issue.
HONORABLE MENTION: Kristiyan Yulzari of Ruse English Language School Geo Milev in Ruse, Bulgaria, for “Bulgaria doesn’t discuss bullying, but children still feel it.”
This journalist conducted a survey to assess the experiences of a large group of students at a local high school – it was interesting to understand the scope of the problem of bullying grounded in data.
ENTERPRISE, TEAM REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Megan Cleveland, Charlotte Heinrich, Maddie Meyers and Emma Lingo of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “19 Voices from COVID-19.”
This project was a large undertaking. The reader got a glimpse of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related closures at a hyper-local level from multiple angles. We appreciated hearing first-hand accounts from people from multiple segments of the community – including the school’s students and teachers, the town’s mayor, a local nurse, and various small business owners. This collection of stories was beautifully presented and could serve as a “time capsule,” reminding folks of the real anxieties of this time – and the way people overcame them – for decades to come.
SECOND PLACE: Lexie Bordenkecher, Mary Adams, Zion Brown, Sophie Dorrance-Minch, Brentton Wharton, Raelynn Hughes and Brooklyn Sharp of Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana, for “Bill of Rights.”
This project breaks down complex questions about the rights of American citizens in a very approachable manner. We appreciated hearing young journalists consider questions about freedom of speech – including whether it is a right extended to student-run press organizations – and grapple with the role of the press in today’s world. The best articles included local reporting, including one debate teacher’s reflections on freedom of speech. The photos and other media, such as posters drawn by students, were perfect accompaniments to the stories.
Emma Lingo, Malcia Greene, Maddie Meyers, Kiden Smith and Rachel Finan of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “The 1619 Project.”
This was an excellent attempt to align one student paper’s reporting with a larger national story. The project mixed first-hand editorials with broader reflections on the impact of local policy (including redlining policies). We also loved the artwork accompanying each piece.
IN-DEPTH REPORTING, INDIVIDUAL
FIRST PLACE: Matty Ennis of Ormskirk School in Maghull, England for his two-part series on Tik Tok: “Losing track of time? It might be TikTok o’clock” and “Have fun on TikTok, but be careful.”
Matty took a serious look at a fun diversion – Tik Tok. He interviewed experts and examined the impact of the addictive app on young minds, including his own, as he admitted to readers that he’s had to delete the app at times in order to focus on more important aspects of his life.
IN-DEPTH REPORTING, TEAM
FIRST PLACE: Chuying Huo of Ontario, Canada; Salma Amrou of Suffolk, Virginia; Parnian Shahsavary of Tehran, Iran; Katrina Machetta of Spring, Texas; Erin Kim of Andover, Massachusetts; Bilge Nur Guven of Istanbul, Turkey; Alyce Collett of Melbourne, Australia; Daisy Wigg of London, England; Aileen Cevallos of Quito, Ecuador; Holly Hostettler-Davies of South Wales, UK; Manar Lezaar of Fez, Morocco; Lyat Melese of Alexandria, Virginia; Nisha Chandar-Nair of Lincoln, England; Rosie Evans of Liverpool, UK; Lucy Tobier of Ann Arbor, Michigan; Aimee Shah of London, England; Purnima Priyadarsini of Bhubaneswar, India; Mariama Barry of Coastal Road, The Gambia; Tahsina Nawar Adrita of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Nivetha Nandakumar of Wales, UK; and Maria Dirce Rebecchini of Rome, Italy for “Covid Mood,” an examination of the pandemic’s toll on mental health among youth worldwide.
This comprehensive undertaking by a large team of youth dug deep into many aspects of the mental health challenges posed by the pandemic. The Covid Mood team was impressively ahead of many media organizations in shining a light on the struggles of young people during the lockdowns and its foreshadowing of post-covid trauma.
SECOND PLACE: Rose Kanaley, Catherine Erickson, Riley Atkinson, Kelly Murphy and Campbell Wood of Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Not a Moment but a Movement.”
FEATURE WRITING, INDIVIDUAL REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Isabelle Nunes of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Overcoming Obstacles in Foster Care.”
Isabelle did a superb job of highlighting an issue that isn’t always in a features section; the problems that children and adolescents face in foster care. Her profile of a high-school student struggling to stay in school without the benefits of a real family is powerful. She showed the reader that many of these young people live right under our nose and could use more help. Her use of an important study and facts about this problem amplify her tasteful and emotional portrayal. We hope to read more of her journalism in the near future!
SECOND PLACE: Kai Yoshida of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Some Like it Hot.”
Kai certainly knows that readers are hungry to read about food and cooking. In the past decade this topic has become a necessity instead of an option in feature journalism. Kai’s article doesn’t contain the usual cliches about hot peppers. Instead, this story and its sources explore the “why” of capsaicin self-torture with great writing and masterful multimedia. The art and slide shows demonstrate the whole point of multimedia: show, don’t just tell. We wish Kai the best. Keep writing!
HONORABLE MENTION: Emily Stull of Tamalpais High School, Mill Valley, California, for “@metooattam.”
We applaud Emily’s efforts to show how social media may help instead of hinder an important cause. She confronted important issues like rape and sexual harassment by showing how a Twitter site comforted her fellow students who may have been victims. She handled the most sensitive subject with dignity and demonstrated that these offenses can happen anywhere – even in Marin County. Keep it up!
FEATURE WRITING, TEAM REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Elle Horst and Raina Lahiri of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “The Chaos in the Calm.”
Everything about this feature is catchy and engaging, from its intro page with the animated blast of vape-pen steam to its lede, which starts with a student’s personal experiences. The piece does a fantastic job early on (beginning in the second sentence!) explaining why this issue is germane to teenagers. We also like that it covers a twist on the well-known vaping phenomenon by delving into the less-covered area of essential oils.
The graphic elements are eye-catching, professional and informational. Sentence lengths and structures are nicely varied for a more engaging read. The source mix of students and national experts is well-balanced. We love how the quotes are woven through the piece, rather than stacked one after the other for a more narrative feel.
The only thing we’d like to have seen more of is some sort of call to action beyond reminding kids that vaping essential oils is dangerous. Are there things teens can do to help this area become more regulated? Overall, just a great presentation. Well-done!
SECOND PLACE: Vaasu Kakuturu and Humza Qazi of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Same Room, Different Zoom.”
What we love most about this piece is the unusual angle it takes on a topic that’s been exhaustively covered by the news. We all know that remote learning has been tough on kids. But how much tougher must it be for kids who started the year at a new school?
The lede is both evocative (a breezy, brisk fall day) and personal, beginning with the experiences of a transfer student and his transfer buddy. It’s exactly how a story like this should begin.
The piece is well-structured, explaining up high the specific ways things are different for transfer students compared to past years, and then goes right into a quote that helps us really feel and empathize with the subjects’ experiences. It has a nice mix of student and faculty perspectives.
This story does what good journalism should do: It helps put us in someone else’s shoes for a bit, teaching empathy and giving readers ideas about how they can help others in a tough spot. Congratulations on an excellent piece of work.
Josh Barde and Niamh Marren of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Behind the Screen.”
Social media is an important topic, and this piece offers a solid survey of how excessive use of social media can affect teen users. It has an important and strong call to action at the end of the story. The only thing that kept this piece from placing in the top two was that its lead anecdote involved the perspective of a technology expert with a large national advocacy group. The story would have tipped into outstanding status if it had led with the experiences of teen social-media users who have had negative experiences using these apps.
Lance Locker and Thea Surya of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Answering the Call of Duty.”
A well-structured piece that provides a slightly different spin on support during remote learning. We like the exhaustive discussion of Student Support Teams are keeping kids on track at school, and we appreciate that the story is honest in acknowledging where the program’s gaps are. We would have loved for this story to kick off with the perspective of a student rather than an administrator, but otherwise, the sourcing is extensive and well-rounded.
Ava Steil and Ashley Ferrer of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida, for “Learning in the Cloud.”
Overall, a comprehensive, high-level view of how and why the school district chose the remote-learning format it did. That’s important for transparency. We also like the diversity of perspectives. It does feel at times like this one feature tried to do a little too much. We love that it covered side issues such as mental wellness and exposure to blue-light, but we feel those might have been better as sidebars rather than diversions in the broader story.
MULTIMEDIA FEATURE STORY, INDIVIDUAL REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Kiana George, Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Claire Mack cranks out crunch cakes for the community.”
Good topic – timely and interesting for the local community as well as visually appealing. Nice cold open. Good balance between focusing on the cakes and adding in detail from the rest of Ms. Mack’s life, interviews with customers, etc. Recommend working on your (Kiana’s) camera presence.
SECOND PLACE: Kristiyan Yulzari of Ruse English Language School, Geo Milev, Ruse, Bulgaria, for “Wonder Garden cultivates a better life for people with disabilities.”
Thought-provoking, uplifting topic. The footage is good and the interviews were interesting. Would appreciate a little more context on the broader topic of work opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities so it doesn’t feel like a fundraising video for the garden organization.
Ahmed Ahmed of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Podcast: 2020 election wrap-up.”
Pretty good production and analysis, but it also felt like the speakers were calling a horse race instead of a national election – there wasn’t much acknowledgement of the deeper issues concerning voters.
Abby Counihan of Padua Academy, Wilmington, Delaware, for “From Salesianum to Disney Visual Effects: The Fascinating Career of Will Muto”
Generally well done and interesting. Some of the most important takeaways could have been called out better, like “learn Python.”
Julia Jauregui of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Local small businesses to support this holiday season.”
This is technically well done but we’re not entirely sure it counts as journalism. It feels a little more like socially-conscious advertising.
MULTIMEDIA FEATURES, TEAM REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Kiana George and Saya Deshpande of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Just one bite can kill.”
Good opening and graphics. We like including the student’s story because it explains the reason for doing the piece. The visuals and audio keeps viewers involved. One thing to keep in mind with the expert’s interview is that they seemed to crop each topic the expert talked about with little to no space between, which made it confusing for viewers. If you listen closely, it seems like the interviewer is saying something and it was edited out. The best way to handle that is for the interviewer to give hand gestures to the interviewee. This way the person continues talking and at the same time you do not need to edit the interviewer’s sounds. We like the b-roll visuals that we see while the reporter is explaining. There seems to be just enough background sound without being too loud over the speaker.
SECOND PLACE: Allison Raisner and Sabrina Lo of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Students Connect with their Communities.”
We like this timely subject that explains what students are doing while at the same time helping out during COVID epidemic. Visually it was nice seeing the products being made. Some feedback from the public on what the girls are doing would have helped. As for the technical side, excellent work getting good audio.
Anita Beroza and Chelsea Chang of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “How Politics Flood Social Media.”
The layout at the bottom of the article might have worked better if it led the story piece. It is helpful to have some type of interaction at the beginning so that readers have a hands-on element and then go to the article. The graphic is nice but it did little by sitting inside a big frame. The article itself seemed more interesting to me than the artwork. A good idea might be to have a strong lead image, whether a graphic, photo or video, as one of the first things the reader or viewer sees.
FIRST PLACE: Louisa Stuhec of Washtenaw International High School, Yipsilanti, Michigan, for “A SCOTUS watcher with a youth eye on RBG”
The writer selected a relevant young woman to interview, which resulted in an informative and candid profile of both RBG and the interviewee in this well-written and well-researched piece.
SECOND PLACE: Daisy Carter of Alaska Teen Media Institute, Anchorage, Alaska, for “Gerardo and Carlos Arias – Alumni of Anchorage Christian Schools.”
Thoughtful questions and allowing the interviewees to answer uninterrupted shed much needed light to this pressing topic of racism in a high school.
Sehar Chowdhry of Sanskriti School, Chanakyapuri, India for “Meet Teen Activist Ketaki Tyagi.”
The reader learned a lot about the harmful effects of stubble burning in India and how a teenage girl is significantly helping with this issue.
Mendieta Monserrat of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Aspiring entrepreneur: Meet Athena Jean Nardo.”
This profile about a teen that started her own eyelash business was informative and close-up.
Clare Hong of Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for “Giving Voices: A Podcast to Bridge the Community.”
This was an honest view about a teen who started a podcast during a pandemic.
Charlotte Heinrich of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Dave and his daughters.”
The profile tackled young daughters’ feelings on their father’s suicide and its aftermath, including sensitivities of which anyone should be aware.
Cameron Hope of Cape Tech High School, Harwich, Massachusetts, for “McKay Looks Back on Her Years of Teaching.”
The members of the community who were interviewed regarding this teacher demonstrated how exemplary she is.
Kayla Thomas of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Pivoting Paths: Meet Bianca Kingham.”
It was inspiring to read about a teen that had an injury find a new and positive focus.
PROFILE, TEAM REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Riley Taylor and Daisy Carter of Alaska Teen Media Institute, Anchorage, Alaska, for “Anchorage Youth Vote.”
Part of a radio show dedicated to elections and voting, this segment highlighted the important work of the young people who encourage youth to take part in elections through the Anchorage Youth Vote organization.
SECOND PLACE: Serena Mehta and Dwija Ramesh of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “(E)liminating (D)isparities in (I)nclusivity.”
In their profile, Mehta and Ramesh introduce the man who the school’s new Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the need for someone to fill that role.
FIRST PLACE: Nathaniel Correia of Cape Cod Tech, Harwich, Massachusetts, for “iOS 14 Update Draws Positive Reviews.”
PHOTOGRAPHY, NEWS PHOTO
FIRST PLACE: Noah Gilbert of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Demonstration Against Hybrid Learning.”
The photo could be cropped a little tighter, but the light on the boy’s face is nice, as is his expression. The Mental Health Matters tee shirt is a nice touch because that emerges as one of the issues in the online/hybrid vs. in-person education debate.
SECOND PLACE: Kristiyan Yulzari of Ruse English Language School Geo Milev in Ruse, Bulgaria, for “The Wonder Garden.”
The photo of Simona Kovacheva carrying a box in front of a greenhouse at the Wonder Garden includes a wonderful expression on her face, with just enough of the garden in the background to give the photo context.
Lyat Melese of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia, for “Selling bekolo.”
There is a lot of context in the photo and the light is nice. It would have been stronger if Lyat had been closer to the bekolo seller and crouched down to the put the camera at the same level as the subject. It would have drawn the viewer in the photo more.
Usraat Fahmidah of Rajuk Uttara Model College, Dhaka, Bangladesh for “Biker in Dhaka.”
This is right on the edge of being a very nice photo but the timing was off by literally a fraction of a second. The photo would have been stronger if it had been made a fraction of a second later when the biker was fully in the frame.
Bilge Nur Güven of Cevre High School, Istanbul, Turkey, for “Graffiti in Istanbul.”
The “I survived Corona” graffiti plays well off the haunted portrait of the man on the right side of the frame.
Norah Springborn of Pekin High School, Pekin, Illinois, for “Back to school in Pekin.”
The tilted horizon works well to convey the off-kilter year we’ve all endured because of covid and the empty seat serves as a reminder of the emptiness we’ve all felt because we’ve lost loved ones or missed classes in school or missed social opportunities because of social distancing. The photo would have been stronger if a masked classmate had been more prominent in the frame.
PHOTOGRAPHY, INDIVIDUAL PHOTO ESSAY
FIRST PLACE: Noah Gilbert of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Demonstration.”
Noah’s images were incredibly moving and reflected a concern, a despair, that many could not discern amidst the myriad of issues we faced this year. The first image used a deep visual voice to introduce the essay. We are beyond wowed.
SECOND PLACE: Parnian Shahsavary of Hoda All Girls High School, Tehran, Iran, for “You could easily get lost in the dazzling Iran Mall.”
While Parnian acknowledges the absence of people in her images, this essay is dazzling indeed. Her mall interiors show the architectural genius in place from the traditional to the abstract. The photos are technically vivid and detailed and she did an incredible job in highlighting the dazzle and inviting her readers in.
Megan Biles of Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Graduation in a Pandemic.”
We really enjoyed this essay. Graduation has always represented one of many coming of age moments, yet the Pandemic turned this coming of age moment on its ear. Megan uses her camera to deftly portray the humor and spirit of the graduates who, frankly, made a grand lemonade from a true lemon of a year.
Kristiyan Yulzari of Ruse English Language School Geo Milev, Ruse, Bulgaria, for “Ruse, Bulgaria is full of art, beauty and spirit.”
Kristiyan’s photography certainly captures the art, beauty and spirit of Ruse. Wonderful imagery, it was a delightful walk through town.
Marandah Mangra-Dutcher of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Planned March.”
Conversation and dialogue is difficult to capture but Marandah’s juxtaposition of the signage and the peaceful countenance of the protesters spoke volumes.
PHOTOGRAPHY, PHOTO ESSAY TEAM
FIRST PLACE: Noelle Griffin, Emily Pollock, Sarah Golder, Julia Percy, Trevor Paulus and Elise Madden of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, for “A Movement in Photos.”
Great photojournalism. The photographers did a great job documenting the events in an artistic style.
SECOND PLACE: Taylor Keal, Emmakate Squires, Trevor Paulus, Sarah Golder and Julia Percy of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Crustacean Crew.”
HONORABLE MENTION: David Noah, Sally O’Connell, Kevin Guinasso, Brandon Tam, Grayson Salomon, Marisa Hamilton, Joseph Zuloaga, Jordan Maralit, John McQuaid, Finnbarr Harrington, Juan Carlos Campos and Andrei Lynch of Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, California, for “Orange haze permeates Bay Area skies.”
PHOTOGRAPHY, FEATURE PHOTO
FIRST PLACE: Renee Johnson of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Yoda.”
Nice timing and framing.
HONORABLE MENTION: Viktorie Goldmannová of Hradec nad Moravicí, the Czech Republic, for “Statue of a woman on the castle grounds.”
PHOTOGRAPHY, PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
FIRST PLACE: Sarah Golder of Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Payments Make Perfect.”
This entry deserves first place because of its ability to successfully create something new, that exists beyond the single image that the photographer captured. A story is told and even a point made, without using too much text. It’s clear, strong and illustrates a story. It also shows proficiency in the software as well as creativity and a good visual eye. Well-done.
SECOND PLACE: Taylor Siebert of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “COVID 19: Stronger Together.”
This image went beyond what the photographer remembered about the scene, to create something new, rather than represent something in the real world. A collage of images to create one larger face, telling the story with a new artform. It’s creative, it’s effective and it shows a good use of the tools at your disposal.
Elizabeth Ritti of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Photo Gallery: students recreate their favorite album covers.”
This was an excellent recreation of artwork that used imagination and ingenuity to accomplish multiple successful stories told through imagery.
PHOTOGRAPHY, SPORTS PHOTO
FIRST PLACE: Megan Biles of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Basketball in a Pandemic.”
We like the point of focus this image has. It tells the story of sports this past year. Having action in the background helps move the picture along.
SECOND PLACE: Megan Biles of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Not the Result Wanted.”
Nice emotional shot. Timing is excellent. The only thing we would have done is to crop out the blue jacket on the left and some of the right side, making this a vertical image. This way it has a totally clean background.
Jordyn Cimmiyotti of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Nead Dives.”
Love the expression on her face. Jordyn was in the correct spot to make the pictures. Timing is really good.
De Lila Green of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Varsity Pommie Practice.”
The topic is timely and the story approached nicely with good images. The picture of the coach stretching her neck is best, but as a package most of these pictures do the story good.
Jordyn Cimmiyotti of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Three Against One.”
We feel like we are right in the middle of the action. You can almost know the desperation that the shooter has going over the three defenders. Clean background. Easy to read.
Megan Biles of Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas, for “All the Way to the Basket.”
Good place to shoot from. We like the timing of the picture. Clean background is nice.
Jordyn Cimmiyotti of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “QB Scramble.”
The photo of the player scrambling has good timing. Jordyn was in the right spot to get a clean shot of the action.
SPORTS NEWS INDIVIDUAL
FIRST PLACE: Kimahni Wright of Cape Cod Technical High School, Harwich, Massachusetts, for “Fall Sports Season Springs Forward.”
Nice work on a solid story of how covid-19 changed high school sports and the impact the changes had on student athletes – through interviews with coaches and the athletes themselves.
SPORTS NEWS TEAM REPORTING
FIRST PLACE: Bayarmaa Bat-erdene and Madeline Schmitke of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Putting the Season Away.”
The writers showed a strong use of supporting quotes throughout the story, with a good balance of their own words and those of the subjects interviewed. Visuals complemented the text nicely and the story had a good flow from start to finish, including well-placed transition words.
SECOND PLACE: Bradley Locker and Advay Voleti of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinios, for “(Stay at) Home Run.”
We liked the creativity in the sports analogy used in the story introduction. Nice job having the reader hear from different levels of officials. The writers quoted both players and officials. Finding a way to tie back to the original sports analogy might have made for a good closure.
Sophia Ismail and Anika Krishnaswamy of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Court Cases.”
The reporters got right to the point of the story – well done! Nice graphic where the numbers really popped. Given how thorough the story was, tying it together at the end by framing the issue and saying what’s next may have offered more clarity to an outsider.
SPORTS FEATURE, INDIVIDUAL
FIRST PLACE: Allison Raisner of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Training life vs. Teenage life.”
Allison Raisner easily “lapped” the competition with her effort on an Olympic swimming hopeful. Only a junior, Allison delivered an impressive package, which virtually told the entire story before even beginning to tell the story.
Leading into the piece was the headline, a video, quick lede text, a graphic illustrating her subject’s hectic life, and a photo providing a link to “read on.” Whew!
The actual piece contained five more photos, containing pull-out quotes, assuring a reader would not be bored even if the story fell short of the presentation. With perspective provided by the swimmer, her parents and high school coach, it surely didn’t.
SECOND PLACE: Tom Mueller of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Sweet victory: The story of Jay Leeuwenburg.”
Tom Mueller, his high school paper’s editor-in-chief, uses a clever, humorous lede to set the tone for his approach to what could have been a sad, downer, bummer of a read.
He turned the tale of his subject’s life, which included diabetes at age 12, a near foot amputation, nearly failing out of school while taking meds, not playing much college ball ‘til his junior year then not getting drafted until the ninth round (which he explains was so low that round doesn’t even exist anymore!), into an entertaining read with an uplifting ending. .
Will Burch of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Two Paths.”
Laid out in five extremely meaty paragraphs, Will Burch’s piece captured the emotion of a state champ’s selfless support and enthusiasm for a less-talented teammate.
SPORTS FEATURE TEAM
FIRST PLACE: Phoebe Gulsen and Anastasia Cassidy of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Pom-poms won’t cushion the fall.”
Excellent job humanizing the risks and rewards of cheerleading.
SECOND PLACE: Bayarmaa Bat-erdene and Shannon Moser of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Choreography in Covid.”
The writers effectively brought to life the challenges of navigating covid while competing.
Sailaja Nallacheruvu and Ally Flynn of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Cuts.”
Solid reporting as the authors used quotes from key officials to tell the story of high school sports in the covid era.
Samia Fouche and Jordan Fritzsche of Ritenour High School, St. Louis, Missouri, for “Zooming through the fall sports season.”
Well reported story that effectively used quotes.
FIRST PLACE: Kate Schreiber of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Got Earplugs?: the trouble with modern sporting events.”
A fresh take, well argued.
SECOND PLACE: Hayden Davidson of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Using their platform.”
A relevant discussion for our times.
FIRST PLACE: Southwest Shadow, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “When it comes to COVID-19, poverty is a pre-existing condition.”
When it comes to editorial writing, the team here sets the bar high and exceeds it. It is a package that informs, engages and enhances our understanding of how covid is hitting the poorest residents. The writing is superior, understandable, clear and convincing. One might argue that the issue isn’t one that impacts most of the students served by the Shadow, but this team understands the importance of making sure its fellow students are aware of what’s happening around their bubble and spurring them to action – or at least care a little bit.
SECOND PLACE: The Kirkwood Call, Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Call ed: KSD, you have failed us.”
“We want to be heard.” A clear statement that illustrates the strong writing and intelligent argument about students’ deserved role in about school during covid. We loved the poll of the student body to increase student involvement in grading school officials’ handling of the pandemic.
Statesman, Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Long Road Ahead.”
Timely topic, solid writing, strong opinion. The team brought the national Black Lives Matter issue home to the school with a plea to keep it in mind, even when it is not trending.
The Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas, for “Abstinence is an unrealistic method of birth control for teens.”
Clear, intelligent writing with a solid opinion that made the case without relying on drama or taking a condescending or all-knowing tone. Well done.
Spotlight, Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana, for “And in the future…”
An interesting idea to ask student journalists what they think. We really enjoyed reading and learning students’ thoughts on what’s facing their generation.
FIRST PLACE: Steven Rissotto of Archbishop Riordan High School, San Francisco, California, for “Life just threw us a curveball.”
In a category with many strong contenders, this article stood out. While the chosen topic was not unique in this year’s entries and could have easily resulted in a cliched article about how one has been impacted by the current pandemic, the writer manages to (in keeping with the spirit of the article) knock it out of the ballpark with his wit and clever writing style. The article may have been on the lengthier side but we were hooked from start to finish, and it left a lasting impression.
SECOND PLACE: Matty Ennis of Ormskirk School in Maghull, England for “UK obesity policy fails – it costs too much to be healthy.”
This is a very strong and well-written critique. Given the nature of the chosen topic, one could have easily fallen into the trap of bogging the article down with too much information and research, but not this writer. He expertly maneuvers around it and strikes a fine balance between analysis and solid research, and writes with impressive brevity. He possesses a maturity beyond his years in both thought and writing style.
Salma Amrou of Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Virginia for “Government must keep its hands off the hijab.”
This is a topic that has generated much controversy in many countries around the world. The writer has taken the topic by its horns and delivered an eloquent and punchy opinion on it. The writer possesses excellent clarity of thought, which is underscored by how seamlessly she meshes various issues such as beauty standards, religious freedom and women’s rights (all complex issues in their own rights) in her article.
Terrisha Hibbert of Cape Tech High School, Harwich, Massachusetts, for “Black Students Want More Representation.”
There were many entries on the topic of #BlackLivesMatter, but this one stood out by delving into the root of the problem and offering a concrete solution. The writer raises an extremely pertinent point on what exactly needs to change if we want to see change. Excellent writing that is clear, direct and compelling.
Monserrat Mendieta of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “It’s not just a game.”
An entertaining and perceptive opinion on an original topic!
Clare Hong of Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for “The Coat Who Cried Wolf.”
The ethical treatment of animals is an issue about which we are all probably aware, but unfortunately do not give sufficient attention to in our everyday lives. The writer issues a fervent and timely wake-up call for us to stop burying our heads in the sand and to actively scrutinize the choices we make. A well-written, forceful and engaging opinion.
OPINION WRITING, TEAM
FIRST PLACE: Ahmed Ahmed and Rhamil Taguba of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Pro/con: Beware the impending plastic disaster.”
Timely although supporting big oil, even for a pro/con piece, made us uncomfortable.
SECOND PLACE: Ryan Servaites and Ashley Ferrer of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Florida, for “COVID-19 has exposed the structural issues of American society.”
Great perspective on inequalities.
Bradley Locker and Melissa Liu of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Free advice.”
Extremely practical and important advice.
FIRST PLACE: Olivia Silvey of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “We are still failing.”
We were impressed by Olivia Silvey’s use research and statistics to strengthen her argument. This piece was well-structured and her clear writing made it a great read.
SECOND PLACE: Zurie Pope of Piqua High School, Piqua, Ohio, for “Trumpism will remain a threat long after Donald Trump departs the White House.”
Zurie Pope offers a compelling piece of political commentary. His writing here is engaging and urgent and does a great job of getting the message across.
HONORABLE MENTION: Ahmed Ahmed of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “I was wrong … sort of.”
Ahmed Ahmed’s opinion piece about the federal government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic shows a great knowledge of current affairs and an ability to use that knowledge to build a persuasive argument.
COLUMN WRITING, TEAM
FIRST PLACE: Aileen Cevallos of Quito, Ecuador; Usraat Fahmidah of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Manar Lezaar of Fez, Morocco; Valeria Vasquez of Panama City, Panama; Charlotte Kelleher of Stourbridge, England; Bilge Nur Güven of Istanbul, Turkey; Regina López of Mexico City, Mexico and Chuying Huo of Ontario, Canada for “The World is Watching,” a series of columns for Youth Journalism International on the U.S. elections.
“The World is Watching” delivers a sobering collection of serious essays explaining why the U.S. elections matter so much, not just in America, but around the globe.
FIRST PERSON ESSAY
FIRST PLACE: Anna Eggers of Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, Indiana, for “Dealing with the virus”
Eggers writes about her experience in an evocative and fiction-like way. Through her words, you can feel the pain of a generation. However, she never runs the risk of pitying herself or her peers: her carefully chosen words are honest, heartfelt and down to earth.
SECOND PLACE: Marandah Mangra-Dutcher of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Identity.”
Talking about identity and skin-color is never easy, but it’s even less so in the year of Black Lives Matter. Mangra-Dutcher questions about who she is and where she belongs, mirroring a new way of considering privilege and race: by doing so, she becomes the interpreter of the new generation.
Viktorie Goldmannová of PORG Ostrava, Vitkovice, Czech Republic, for “Hradec and Moravici, my faithful listener.”
Goldmannová should write a novel. Her vivid and suggestive writing make you feel as if you were with her, in her hometown, walking through Hradec Castle or wandering around its garden. Her words are poignant and the article is moving.
Sarah Gandluri of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Clarksburg, Maryland, for“Fearing racist violence, they’re locked in their American home.”
Gandluri’s writing is honest and moving. She dealt with a serious topic with a sharp and immersive style.
FIRST PLACE: Kasey Liu of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Remember to Charge Yourself.”
Great choice of subject and visceral imagery that hits home.
SECOND PLACE: Dean Carrasco of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Election results leave President Donald Trump blue.”
Solid composition, humor, juxtaposition of childlike behavior with that of grown politicians.
Salma Amrou of Nansemond River High School, Suffolk, Virginia, for “The Dirt Under the Rug.”
Kayla Baker of Ritenour High School, St. Louis, Missouri, for “Lady Snails.”
Catherine Butler of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “Cloud 9.”
Dean Carrasco of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Coming home for Thanksgiving with a friend” and “Gender reveal goes out with a big bang.”
Julia Landy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, for “Abolish the College.”
Kasey Liu of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Having Pride in Wearing Your Identity,” “Masking Ignorance as ‘Freedom’,” “The Infected Work-life Balance,” and “The Holiday Lights at the End of the Tunnel.”
Kayley Norman of Ritenour High School, St. Louis, Missouri, for “Oscar subtitles.”
Parnian Shahsavary of Hoda All Girls High School, Tehran, Iran, for “In memory of girls killed by fathers, husbands, brothers” and “On the Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”
Veronica Susovica of Ritenour High School, St. Louis, Missouri, for “Please vote.”
Aiden Topolinski of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Snow Day.”
FIRST PLACE: Parnian Shahsavary of Hoda All Girls High School, Tehran, Iran, for “Medusa.”
SECOND PLACE: Lacey Buckley of Center Hill High School, Olive Branch, Mississippi, for “Keep Out.”
Bethany Hardy of Cape Tech, Harwich, Massachusetts, for “Understanding Accommodations.”
Salma Amrou of Nansemond River High School, Suffolk, Virginia, for “Physical Distancing.”
Sophia Ismail of Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Illinois, for “Post and Pickets.”
FIRST PLACE: Amy Goodman of Ebeltoft, Denmark, for “Read ‘Tokyo Ueno Station’ for a mesmerizing trip to Japan.”
This review is a great blend of summary and commentary, with flowing language and both personal and political reflections. Made us want to read the book immediately.
SECOND PLACE: Fantasia Hatch of Cape Tech High School, Harwich, Massachusetts, for “Controversial My Dark Vanessa Worth a Look.”
Tackles a difficult subject with aplomb. Gives the reader both an overview of what to expect and the writer’s personal viewpoint to help guide them to whether this is the right book for them.
Usraat Fahmidah of Rajuk Uttara Model College, Dhaka, Bangladesh, for “Bhutto book reveals personal side of political family.”
This review describes the controversies of this book without being heavy-handed. We particularly liked the use of vivid language and cultural context.
REVIEWS, FILM AND THEATER
FIRST PLACE: Joshua Chong of the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, for “Hamilton is a Revolutionary Piece of Theatre” and “When Stars Collide.”
Joshua’s writing in both reviews is of a sustained, thoughtful, and professional quality. He takes the time to consider the whole of the work, context, history, and also singles out component parts (acting, design, etc.) individually. Joshua is truly an outstanding critic with a bright future in the field. P.S. I disagree with him on “The King and I,” but we can fight over that elsewhere. 😉
SECOND PLACE: Addison Etnier of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “The Lord of the Rings” in 4K.
Addison’s awareness of and attention to technical detail in filmmaking is astounding and appreciated by this reader. It made me want to spend the money to buy a bunch of movies I already have and love. This was a close call with Addison’s other piece, “The (Comic) Book Was Better,” which mainly lost out for failing to point out why comic books are better than the movies. Addison seems to love them both!
Matty Ennis of Ormskirk School in Maghull, England for “Hamilton’s Revolution appeals to young people everywhere.”
Salma Amrou of Nansemond River High School, Suffolk, Virginia, for “Lessons from Hamilton and why I threw away my shot.”
It’s a testament to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work that he inspired three great write-ups in three different countries. Salma and Matty both managed to make this international phenomenon intensely personal.
Zurie Pope of Piqua High School, Piqua, Ohio, for “The Boys is Cynical, Irreverent and Shocking.”
Zurie evidences a keen awareness for why “The Boys” and its anti-heroes make for great television.
FIRST PLACE: Joshua Chong of the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, for “Review: With ‘Clara – Robert – Johannes,’ The NAC Orchestra draws 19th-century connections.”
This review is of a quality one would hope to find from a fully professional, experienced critic who lives in the world they’re writing about.
SECOND PLACE: Aila Pasic of Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Experience the Raw Emotions in ‘Punishers.’”
This review provides the context a listener would need to understand how to approach the album and keeps a balanced tone that adds credibility to the analysis.
HONORABLE MENTION: Addison Etnier of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ on Disney+”
The reviewer stays in the moment captured in the documentary, setting aside the baggage of celebrity and focusing on the performance at hand.
REVIEWS, MUSIC, TEAM REVIEW
FIRST PLACE: Zachary Khouri and Allison Raisner of Carlmont High School, Belmont, California, for “Taylor Swift gifts her fans with ‘Evermore.’”
Khouri and Raisner clearly know their subject, writing about the artist and her work with confidence and insight.
FIRST PLACE: Jackson Bogan, Southwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, Nevada, for “Explore the great new frontier in ‘The Outer World.’”
Jackson’s review does an admirable job of providing the context for a new release and explaining why it doesn’t measure up to its predecessors. It’s a well-written, fair-minded and interesting piece.
SECOND PLACE: Amy Goodman of Ebeltoft, Denmark, for “London museum looks at fashion’s role in rebellion.”
Amy’s review of an exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum propelled an insightful look at what a show about British designer Mary Quant says about fashion generally.
Max Lankford of Center Hill School, Olive Branch, Mississippi, for “TLC the Poster Child of Reality TV.”
Clare Hong of Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, for “The Visor for Your Eyes: Blue Light Glasses.”
Caroline Steidley of Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Missouri, for “VMA 2020 fashion review.”
Parker Anderson of Johnston High School, Johnston, Iowa, for “Villisca.”
Note to student journalists and teachers: We’ll be doing this contest again next year for stories written in English between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021 by students 19 and under. Think about what you can do to win and then do it! There are many categories – and we’re open to creating new ones – and plenty of opportunities to bring your work to our attention.