Blair honored with state, national awards
Silver Chips won the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Newspaper Pacemaker Award for its 2003-2004 issues on Nov. 20 at the NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, becoming the first newspaper in history to win both the Newspaper Pacemaker and the Online Pacemaker in the same year.
Chips also won the Marylander Award for high schools with over 1,200 students on Nov. 13, an award given to the best high school paper in the state by the Maryland Scholastic Press Association (MSPA). Chips was one of 23 other newspapers to win the Pacemaker, awarded to the top newspapers in the country since its establishment in 1927. Chips won the award for the second time in three years and won the Marylander for the fourth time in six years.
Chips additionally earned 23 out of 46 individual awards given by the MSPA, eight of which were first place awards, and 21 of 59 Honorable Mentions. Silver Chips Online won the Marylander in the online category and swept all 11 online individual awards.
Pacemaker winners were not announced by size category as has been the NSPA's custom in past years, to eliminate any perceived disparity between differently-sized papers, according to NSPA contest coordinator Chad Rummel. "We don't want to say that a 17-page paper is any better than a smaller paper," he said. "They're all Pacemaker quality."
Judges from the Atlanta Journal- Constitution selected the winners based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, design, photography, art and graphics. Silver Chips Online will be judged for the 2005 Online Pacemaker, which the NSPA has awarded to the top online papers since 2001, in February at the Spring National High School Journalism Convention on April 7-10 in Seattle, Washington.
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