Grady High newspaper garners Gallup Award

This from Ashley Brown, published in Grady High’s The Southerner newspaper (hat tip to Grady’s Carrie MacBrien for sharing):

For the fifth time in the past six years and for the third year in a row, The Southerner has earned the George H. Gallup Award, the highest honor presented by the Quill and Scroll International Society for High School Journalists.

The Southerner is what many high school newspapers strive to be,” the judge wrote to the staff of The Southerner. “It isn’t perfect, but it makes every effort to be perfect, something that’s apparent to its readers. It takes a lot to fill a 20-page paper, especially in high school, so everyone involved in [the 2009-2010] publication [year] should be proud of their work … It’s safe to say The Southerner will continue to serve its readers well, and be an example of what a high school newspaper can and should be for years to come.”

The judge also praised The Southerner’s breadth of coverage.

The Southerner covers all the issues of a high school newspaper should cover and then some,” the judge wrote. “It gives students a complete picture of what’s going on inside and outside the walls of Grady and tries to make each and every story interesting and relevant.”

Communications and Journalism Academy Leader Carrie MacBrien said the success and extensive coverage of The Southerner is owed to the support of the school’s administration.

“At Grady High School we are fortunate to have an administration that does not engage in prior review and values the voices of the students and the work of our young journalists; as a result, the staff of The Southerner recognizes their enormous responsibility to dig deep, take on difficult issues, and be a key source of information for the entire Grady community,” MacBrien wrote in a letter supporting The Southerner staff’s Gallup Award application.

In order to be considered for the Gallup Award, a publication must earn superior achievement in all five categories judged in the competition: policy guidelines, coverage, writing and editing, display and design and business practices.

Former co-managing editor Madeline Roorbach said that she felt The Southerner made these superior achievements during the 2009-2010 school year.

The Southerner has been the recipient of the Gallup Award four times: 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009,” Roorbach wrote in her cover letter to the Quill and Scroll evaluators. “We feel that we have made significant strides in the past year, both in the quality of our coverage as well as in the advances we have made to incorporate new editorial positions and [our website], and feel that … we are deserving of a Gallup Award in 2010.”

The three-peat feat marks the second time in the proud history of The Southerner that the program has won one of the three top national awards in three consecutive years. Previously, the program earned three consecutive Pacemaker Awards from the National Scholastic Press Association from 2003-2005.

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