Center Hill journalism staffs place, win at state competition

Because+its+statewide+convention+was+canceled+out+of+concern+for+the+coronavirus%2C+the+Mississippi+Scholastic+Press+Association+held+a+virtual+awards+ceremony+for+the+state%E2%80%99s+high+school+newspaper+and+broadcast+programs.+%22I+urge+you+all+to+stay+safe%2C%22+MSPA+director+RJ+Morgan+said+in+a+video+posted+to+YouTube+and+viewed+by+many+journalism+staffs+at+digital+watch+parties.

Sarah Claire Miller

Because its statewide convention was canceled out of concern for the coronavirus, the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association held a virtual awards ceremony for the state’s high school newspaper and broadcast programs. "I urge you all to stay safe," MSPA director RJ Morgan said in a video posted to YouTube and viewed by many journalism staffs at digital watch parties.

From staff reports, The Pony Express

Center Hill High School was well represented at the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association’s spring awards program today. Because its statewide convention was canceled out of concern for the coronavirus, MSPA held a virtual awards ceremony for the state’s high school newspaper and broadcast programs.

“COVID-19 has put all of us under quarantine,” MSPA director RJ Morgan said in a video posted to YouTube and viewed by many journalism staffs at digital watch parties. “I urge you all to stay safe. Nevertheless, we do have several awards that need to be given and several people and publications that need to be honored, even in our current, trying circumstances.”

Watching via Zoom with members of the Mustang Television staff and The Pony Express staff, MTv’s Roben Nobles was named Mississippi’s Newspaper Adviser of the Year.

In the Best of Mississippi competition, five finalists and one winner are named in each category.

“Being named a finalist in a statewide contest is an accomplishment worth celebrating,” Morgan told viewers. “Our awards are not just for those one winners in each category. They’re for celebrating the very best of everything that we do.”

Broadcast Division

The entire MTv staff was recognized as a finalist for Best Daily Newscast. Paige Brick was a finalist in the Best PSA category, in addition to the duo of Kennedi Evans and Kenzie Sandridge. Ann Marie Mason was a finalist for Best Longform Story.

Newspaper Division

Out of 10 categories in the newspaper division, The Pony Express had 12 finalists and three winners.

Shelby Parsons won for Best Depth Reporting and Cassidy Bishop won for Best Sports Story. Lacey Buckley was named a finalist twice for Best Editorial Cartoon, a category she also won.

The entire newspaper staff, led by co-editors Paige Brick and Nadia Sumlar, was a finalist for Best Staff Editorials, Best Online Presence and Best Print Layout and Design.

Sarah Claire Miller was a finalist for Best Feature Story, Kymoria Mottley was a finalist for Best Opinion Piece, and Laine Crabb was a finalist for Best Sports Story.

Other newspaper finalists were Katie Whitaker for Best Sports Photo and Shelby Parsons for Best News Photo.

Carry-In Competition

Advised by Michelle Jones and Ginny Shikle, The Pony Express was also recognized in the Carry-In Competition for work done after the Best of Mississippi contest’s Feb. 15 deadline. A designated section for coronavirus coverage was added this year.

In four Carry-In categories, The Pony Express had four finalists and three winners. Max Lankford won for Best Portrait Photo, Lacey Buckley won for Best COVID-19 Visual, and Sarah Claire Miller won for Best COVID-19 Design. Miller also was a finalist for Best COVID-19 Writing.

A complete list of winners is available at mississippischolasticpress.com.