(BATON ROUGE, La.) The St. Paul’s School student media — The Paper Wolf, Guerrilla Wolves and The Conifer — descended on the Louisiana Scholastic Press Association (LSPA) Conference to participate in journalism seminars and compete for awards on the LSU campus on Thursday, Nov. 9, returning with a total of 23 honors.
“We performed incredibly at LSPA,” Paper Wolf Feature Editor Guttuso said. “For the third year in a row, we killed it. It’s great to be part of such a prestigious program.”
Each school submitted entries such as articles, photos, videos and yearbooks from their school publications and media outlets to LSPA, and these were scored on a variety of categories including skill, objectivity and adherence to stylistic guidelines. The St. Paul’s media program took home two awards in “best medium” categories, in addition to 21 individual awards, including five first place awards, seven second place awards, five third place awards, and four honorable mention awards.
Although its entirely digital format prevented it from earning points in multiple subcategories, such as page spread layout, The Paper Wolf won First Place for Best Newspaper for the second consecutive year. In total, The Paper Wolf won 16 awards, with writers such as Carson Caufield, Lester Guttuso, Jackson Cretin and Blake Franklin winning awards for multiple submissions. The Paper Wolf was especially successful in the category of Online/Social Media, in which it won Honorable Mention for its Instagram page, Third Place for its Facebook page, Second Place for its Twitter page and First Place for its website.
Guerrilla Wolves, the St. Paul’s media production club, won Honorable Mention in Best Overall Broadcast. Its reflection “Justin Addison Tribute” won First Place in Videography, its highlight reel “Football vs Pontchatoula” won Second Place for Sports Feature, its informative piece “History of Guerrilla Wolves” won Second Place for News Feature and its human interest piece “SPS Monuments and Memorials” won Honorable Mention for News Feature.
The Conifer won Third Place for Division Pages Design and Honorable Mention for Copywriting competing against yearbooks from over 25 participating schools from around the state, including Baton Rouge Magnet, Catholic High School, and the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.
This is just the most recent installment in a long-running tradition of success at LSPA. Last year, St. Paul’s won 20 total awards at the conference including Best Newspaper and Best Overall Student Media Program, an award which was not offered this year. The previous year, the SPS student media program won its first Best Overall Media Program award, with The Paper Wolf winning Best Online Newspaper and Guerrilla Wolves winning several awards.
In addition to competition, the conference featured opportunities for students to learn about various aspects of journalism. The day began with a keynote speech from CBS sports director Mark Grant, who imparted lessons from his life and career. The speech was followed by a presentation on fake news and a Kahoot quiz which showed students how to identify authentic news sources. Students then broke up into smaller groups and attended seminars on everything from a photography session on how to use a professional camera and take interesting photos to a session by Manship Chair of Journalism Robert Mann on opinion writing and connecting with an audience in the digital age. Some students also toured the Manship School of Mass Communications.
“I was very impressed by Manship,” Guttuso said. “They have a really impressive journalism program.”
The final session of the day was a “speed dating” round, during which students moved from table to table for short sessions with various media professionals and newspaper writers from LSU’s The Daily Reveille.