MINNEAPOLIS — The nation’s top scholastic yearbooks were recognized today by the National Scholastic Press Association who announced 55 finalists in its annual Pacemaker competition.
The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” said Laura Widmer, executive director. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best with Pacemaker honors.”
The NSPA Pacemaker award, one of the oldest awards for scholastic journalism, has a rich tradition. The association began presenting the prestigious award to high school newspapers soon after the organization was founded in 1921. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.
In all, 525 yearbooks entered the Pacemaker competition. Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging and studied every entry discussing its strengths. The status of each yearbook entry was agreed upon by at least two of the three judges.
When the process was finished, the 55 finalists were named indicating the top 10 percent. From that group, 24 will earn the Pacemaker award placing those publications in the top five percent. Seven junior high/middle schools are included on the finalist list.
Insights and observations from the judges about the Pacemaker-winning yearbooks will be posted when the winners are announced along with the names and professional bios of the judges.
In addition to demonstrating excellence in key areas including coverage, writing, editing, design and photography, the winning yearbooks took risks and told the story of the school year with a strong verbal and visual voice.
“The best yearbooks don’t recap events, they capture dynamic and authentic stories that focus on people,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director. “Today’s best yearbooks are remarkable journalistic publications with their own bold personalities.”
Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, April 12-15, 2018 in San Francisco.