Carmel High School newspaper qualifies for Crown competition

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Once again, the Carmel High School HiLite newspaper has been named a Crown Finalist by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The award is based on the 2008-09 newspaper. Finalist status guarantees that the HiLite will earn either a Silver Crown or Gold Crown, the CSPA’s two highest awards, at the organization’s convention in March.

The HiLite is one of only 64 newspaper finalists from around the country and one of only four newspapers in Indiana to earn this distinction. In its annual critique received earlier this year, the paper earned Gold Medalist status, a preliminary distinction that is separate from the Crown competition. The 2008-09 HiLite newspaper earned All-Columbian honors in each of four categories in that critique – coverage, writing and editing, graphic presentation and business operations. Additionally, the anonymous judge awarded the paper a total of 972 points out of 1,000, which qualified it for the Gold Medalist designation.

Last year, the 2007-08 paper also received a Gold Medalist rating and went on in the spring to earn the CSPA’s highest award, the Gold Crown, one of only 19 scholastic newspapers in the country to earn that distinction. This year’s score was a nine-point improvement from the assessment of the 2007-08 publication, and while the critique rating is separate from the Crown judging, traditionally the HiLite has performed well in the Crown competition, earning additional Gold Crowns in 1995, 1999, 2005 and 2009 and Silver Crowns in 1994, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

The judge noted that the paper was “an example of how broadsheet should look” and that it displayed a “very effective design that mixes traditional with the modern.

This year, the HiLite has switched to a tabloid newsmagazine format in order to follow changes in the newspaper industry. The emphasis for the paper is now on lengthier, in-depth stories. The HiLite Web site, HiLite Online, is now the primary outlet for breaking news and upcoming events.

As for the transition, the judge said it brings the HiLite to the “cutting edge.

The 2008-09 editor in chief was Amy Flis ‘09, now at Duke University. The managing editors were Cathy Chen ‘09 (Dartmouth College) and Brittani Wheeler’09 (Indiana University).