BP wins NSPA Multimedia Story of the Year, 1st Place

BP+wins+NSPA+Multimedia+Story+of+the+Year%2C+1st+Place

Ashley Mashian, BP Staff

WINNERS: Mr. Tranchi came out of his office Monday to congratulate Yonah Nimmer (holding the award plaque), Adam Ashkenazi, Zev Hurwitz and Jaclyn Kellner on winning a national prize for their coverage of Rabbi Weinbach's resignation last spring. Also honored was alumna Lexi Gelb, last year's editor-in-chief.

Leila Miller, Outside News Editor

With screams of delight and high-fives, Boiling Point staff learned last Saturday that coverage of Rabbi Weinbach’s resignation had been named Multimedia Story of the Year by the National Scholastic Press Association and American Society of News Editors.

The announcement was made at the NSPA’s annual fall convention in Kansas City, where eight BP staffers had traveled for three days of workshops, lectures and networking with high school journalists from around the country.   Runners-up were from St. Teresa’s Academy of Kansas City, Missouri, and Penn Manor High School of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Shalhevet’s winners were alumna Lexi Gelb ’10, who was editor-in-chief last year, along with current seniors Jaclyn Kellner and Zev Hurwitz and juniors Yonah Nimmer and Adam Ashkenazi. Zev is this year’s Editor-in-Chief, while Jaclyn now serves as Deputy Editor.  Yonah is now Video Editor and Adam is Chief Copy Editor this year.

Their coverage had included three stories in the print paper along with eight text postings and two videos on the BP’s then-new website, www.shalhevetboilingpoint.com, which had gone online for the first time less than a week before Rabbi Weinbach resigned.

Click here to see the award-winning stories

“Breaking news is rare at a high school and, because of publication schedules, rarely covered in real time,” wrote the anonymous NSPA judges in their official comments.  “Shalhevet High School’s The Boiling Point faced a true breaking news story: Its head of school announced his resignation abruptly in the middle of the school year.

“The staff more than met the challenge of reporting the story while it was going on,” the comments continued. “By reproducing e-mails, doing shoe-leather reporting and interviewing the people involved, The Boiling Point was able to piece together a great package of stories and video that blooms from a one-sentence e-mail sent close to midnight into a comprehensive collection of pieces about the principal, his accomplishments and a confused school population.”

Jaclyn and Zev co-wrote a full-length story for the BP website 12 hours after the resignation was announced, and a few weeks later Jaclyn and Lexi co-wrote a story which introduced the new administrative team.

Yonah and Adam made two videos, the first of Rabbi Weinbach addressing the Shalhevet community and of a meeting announcing the new administrative team and the search for a new head of school.

Jaclyn, who was Community Editor at the time and serves as Deputy Editor this year, also wrote a question-and-answer interview with Rabbi Weinbach, and Lexi wrote the editorial, titled “A Stronger School, But Broken Hearted.”  Those stories ran both in print and on the web.

Because it was Shabbat, staff members in Kansas City walked to the meeting where the award was presented and waited until after sunset to carry their prize-winning plaque back to their hotel.  They also could not photograph the event.

Meanwhile, a day earlier, several staffers had entered a “write-off” competition set for 4 to 6 pm Friday afternoon.  Because Shabbat started just before 5, the BP journalists had only a few minutes to write their stories, which were based on 45-minute presentations of facts that actually didn’t begin until 4:10.

On Sunday, it was announced that Zev Hurwitz had won honorable mention in the News write-off and Sports Editor Ari Feuer had won honorable mention in Editorial Writing.

“This isn’t quite as prestigious but it’s just as sweet,” said Mrs. Keene. “It shows how talented our kids are, and also how the limits set by our tradition are actually a source of strength.  Our students had a much more realistic deadline situation than anyone else in that contest, a way shorter time, and they more than met the challenge.”