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Journalists of San Diego, watch out for these teens.

We’ve got winners in the first-ever voiceofsandiego.org Awards for Excellence in High School Journalism. We aim to celebrate excellence in student news and promote online platforms for high school journalism. Moving student newspapers online brings the advantages of lower cost, more frequency and relevance, and offers a learning environment that prepares students for the real world.

The contest was highly competitive, with 100 entries representing 14 schools in San Diego County.

We are honored to announce the winners:

Best Website: Point Loma High School’s Pointer News

Honorable Mention: Lincoln High School’s Voices of Lincoln

Best News Story, print or online:

Katelyn Hennes, Westview High School, “Altered Pledge Sparks Controversy

Best Feature, online:

Tate Dannemiller, San Dieguito Academy, “UFOs and the People Who Need Them

Best Editorial, print or online:

Tosten Burks, Poway High School, “BYU Cares About Its Athlete’s Morality, Should We?

Best Photograph or Video, print or online:

Lauren Ogie, Poway High School, “In Her Eyes

A note from photo editor Sam Hodgson on the video, which is about teenagers who cut themselves:

Lauren, at a very young age, was able to create a short story that had tremendous production value and gave me a sinking feeling in my gut. She used her camera and the techniques of lighting, composition and movement to raise awareness and promote understanding about teenagers who cut. She tackled a very difficult topic that can prove unsettling and in doing so, encouraged the viewer to think critically about the issue. The piece aired on the school’s broadcast station as part of a series of regular public service announcements. While the public service snnouncement was meant to draw attention to a real issue, the video is a dramatization and characters are portrayed by actors.

A note from winner Lauren Ogie on her video:

This video tells a story that is not commonly told. It is a topic not many students my age make a video about; few to none cover this subject based on a true story. This edgy story leaves an impact on the audience. I would love for more people to hear this story and experience the lasting impact and message it has.

Disclaimer: This video is for mature audiences as some viewers may find the content of this video to be disturbing.

Each student winner will receive a $500 scholarship to college, and the best website will receive $500 for the school’s journalism program. Special thanks to Bob, Karen, and Heather Bowden for sponsoring this year’s contest.

Our staff at VOSD enjoys mentoring journalism students through classroom visits, workshops, hosting volunteers and offering internships, and we have helped Point Loma High, Lincoln High and several other schools with their news sites over the last two years.

Student news sites are dynamic and offer the potential to become true news sources for the school campus and their surrounding communities. Online publishing becomes a project-based learning environment where students have to develop skills in writing and thinking critically as well as ethics in community engagement and social media.

Our outreach into high schools also provides a rich opportunity for spreading our own impact as students, teachers, and parents become engaged with VOSD.

To support our outreach in San Diego’s high schools, please donate today.

To inquire about starting an online newspaper at your school or having someone come speak to your students, please contact Camille Gustafson. Thank you!

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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