Broadcast program named as finalist for top national award


Courtesy of NSPA

Leopard Spotlight has been named an NSPA Pacemaker finalist for the second straight year. The broadcast program was one of eight Pacemaker winners nationwide in 2017.

Layla Healey, Staff Writer

Leopard Spotlight, the flagship show of the Lovejoy News Network, was named a finalist today for the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Broadcast Pacemaker award, one of just 14 programs in the nation to be selected.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” said Laura Widmer, NSPA’s executive director, in a press release. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

LNN is a finalist for the second consecutive year. Last year Leopard Spotlight, in its first season, was one of only eight schools to win the Pacemaker.

“We were amazed to win a Pacemaker for the first year of our program in 2017,” broadcast adviser Corey Hale said. “We basically tried to continue to hold ourselves to a high storytelling and journalistic standard with our individual videos, and executive producer Grant Dennis pushed students to look for more creative visuals.”

Junior Shivani Radhakrishnan is in her third year as a broadcast staff member.

“I think that it really is amazing that we managed to do this,” Radhakrishnan said. “Because while all the other finalists are from schools with amazing programs, we are this small team and we’ve managed to put ourselves up there with everyone else, and I think that is really amazing.”

NSPA’s team of three judges viewed each entry discussing strengths and weaknesses.

“The Pacemaker-winning entries stood out for their quality, not only in the production, but in the stories being told, the writing, editing and hosting, and the willingness to tackle controversial topics,” judges said in the press release. “These were exceptional newscasts start to finish.”

The winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 1-4 in Chicago.