Journalism's Web And Print Editions Win Top Ten Best Of Show

Mateo Journalists placed in the Top Ten Best of Show for both our newspaper and our website at a national journalism convention in San Francisco last month.

The competition was fierce and plentiful, with close to 4,000 high school students from across the country attending the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association (JEA/NSPA) Convention which was held at the Marriott Marquis April 25-27.

Local schools were well represented, with Aragon taking Best of Show in its newspaper category (17-24 pages) and Palo Alto High School’s Verde–whose latest issue on rape culture brought widespread media attention and acclaim–placing in the Top Ten for news magazines.

The NSPA awards crowned a winning year for the Mateo Media program: students in journalism class won both the prose and poetry categories of the City Arts contest, the yearbook editor-in-chief won for 3D Art in that competition, and senior journalists were accepted into the nations’ top colleges including Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. 

Journalism is one of the best ways to teach students the skills they need in the 21st Century, Esther Wojcicki said in a talk at the convention. The Palo Alto journalism teacher is the founder of the biggest high school journalism program in the country, where 580 students take a journalism elective each year and produce a newspaper, three magazines, a television show, and a website.

The hands-on, project-based nature of journalism teaches skills that today’s students need, employers want, the common core standards require, and traditional teaching methods don’t provide, Wojcicki said. 

Among the skills learned in classes like journalism and yearbook are how to access and evaluate information, analyze media, create media products, apply technology effectively, be adaptable to change, manage goals and time, work independently, be self directed learners, work effectively with others, manage projects, be responsible to others, and be good digital citizens, Wojcicki said.

Has your student signed up for Journalism or Yearbook? It's not too late! Ask him or her to visit their counselor to join our award-winning staff. We work in a state-of-the-art Mac Lab provided by our generous Foundation last year and use professional-grade software including In Design and Photoshop.

Spirits ran high throughout the convention with thousands of teens congregating in the hotel. To see a clip of students cheering at the culminating awards ceremony as they learn who won the various Write Off contests JEA held, visit our journalism website,