HiLite Online awarded NSPA All-American rating

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By Michelle Hu

Annually, the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) invites school publications to submit Web sites for critique. Sites are judged not only on their ease of use, but also substance. Judges seek out innovative ways to convey the story to viewers in the school and community. Additionally, judges read through stories for balanced coverage and multiple sources to ensure the fairness of journalism.

This year, the HiLite‘s site, HiLite Online, received the highest rating from the NSPA. Out of a total of 4,000 points, the site was awarded 3,425 and four Marks of Distinction, qualifying for the All-American rating. Categories included coverage/content (the ability of the site to report on a myriad of topics and the accuracy of the stories), interactivity/community (the opportunities and accesibility offered to viewers for expressing their opinions), breaking news (the frequency and speed at which the site updates its stories), design/navigation (the aesthetics and ease of use on the site) and rich media (the utilization of different forms of media, such as photos and videos).

The judge said, “It is nice to see some expanded coverage with stories. I really liked seeing the video to accompany the April 2 “Fame in the Internet Age” story by Celina Wu. That is just the kind of thing that media sites should be using video for. I love being able to see and hear a band play instead of just reading a story. The video helps put the puzzle together for me in a way the story alone can’t.”

Additionally, the site earned 100 of 100 points in student work credit.

The 2008-09 editor-in-chief of the HiLite newspaper was Amy Flis, who will attend Duke University in the fall. The managing editors were Brittani Wheeler and Cathy Chen, who will attend Indiana University and Dartmouth College, respectively. The editor of the Web site was Yon-Sue Choi, who will attend Dartmouth College.