From CSPA, a seventh consecutive Crown, this time a silver


CSPA: At Columbia University in NYC this afternoon, staff of this year’s Boiling Point was awarded its seventh consecutive CSPA Hybrid Crown Award, this time a Silver Crown, for print and online news published during the 2017-18 school year.

For the seventh consecutive year, the Boiling Won won a CSPA Hybrid Crown Award this afternoon, but this year’s is silver instead of gold.

Hybrid Crowns are for the top high school news sources that navigate between print and online formats, publishing some things in one or the other and some in both. Fifty were awarded this year, 30 Silver and 20 Gold, for work published during the 2017-18 school year.

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CRITIQUE: Boiling Point editors received feedback about their online and print editions this morning at the 95th annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association spring conference. @cspanyc

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Seventeen Boiling Point staffers, including most of this year’s editors, were there for the awards ceremony this afternoon in Lanner Hall at Columbia University in New York.  A slide presentation showing last year’s cover about juniors helping in clean-up from Hurricane Harvey praised the Boiling Point’s breadth of coverage.

“From the attention-grabbing ledes to the storytelling quotes to powerful endings, the copy in The Boiling Point always holds readers’ attention,” wrote the Crown Award judges, who highlighted the BP’s Outside News and Torah sections, detailed policies on anonymity and conflict of interest, and “strong multi-media presence” in an award slide presentation.

The Silver Crown is essentially a second-place prize. In all, 1,181 publications were eligible for Crown awards, many in other categories such as yearbooks, website-only, print only and literary magazines. Small and large, public and private schools with 3,500 students or more compete in the same categories.

“Crowns are selected for overall excellence in a head-to-head comparison,” states the CSPA website.

Ms. Joelle Keene, the Boiling Point’s faculty adviser, praised the work done by last year’s staff.

“We had a lot of very deep stories on topics ranging from student commuting, to a full exploration of men’s and women’s titles in Orthodox Judaism,” she said. “We covered the fun little things and the big deep things.

“I’m very proud of the work being done by a bunch of high school students who have a lot of other things on their plates to inform a large and important Jewish community.”

As for a reason for not winning a Gold Crown, Ms. Keene was not sure why.

“We’re looking forward to upping our game and working toward a Gold Crown next year,” she said. “However, we do not write the news to win awards. I don’t think our service to our community went down at all over the last year. I don’t think that our service, our information, the entertainment, the engagement or the ethical standards that we offer to our community have gone down at all.”

She said that though they took second place in the Crown Awards, Boiling Point staff won more than a dozen of the top individual awards in high school journalism for work done last year.  Among these were individual first, second and third place awards in CSPA’s Gold Circle Awards and three national Story of the Year Awards — two in Multimedia and one in Opinion — from the National Scholastic Press Association.

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