NSPA Names The Little Hawk Online Pacemaker Finalists


Anna Gayley

Parker Max and Jack Degner live stream a City High basketball game. Two LH journalists that helped create content that helped the Little Hawk journalism team earn the Pacemaker Finalist award.

Ava Brewer, Reporter

The Little Hawk was recognized by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) as a prestigious Pacemaker award finalist, putting the team as one of the top 47 news sites in the country, and among one of two Iowa teams nominated.

“I am proud of everyone who publishes stories.  We have a great group of young people working on our team.  We are also a public school.  I run the LH Hawkle word puzzle everyday and I think it really helps drive traffic to the website,” Diego Loria-Eivins said.

This is the eleventh year in a row that the team has been nominated for this award, and the team has won the full Pacemaker award for online news sites twice. The final awards will be announced at the National High School Journalism conference put on by JEA/NSPA in April, where a handful of Little Hawk journalists will be in attendance. The 47 schools nominated for this award are currently still being judged in real-time.

For this competition, there are two different categories based on school size. These 47 nominees represent 16 different states across the nation. Each category is judged by six judges who analyze the website’s strengths. This competition is websites only, but the news sites often are associated with print newspapers or print magazines from the same programs.

Jonathan Rogers who has who helped students create the first Little Hawk journalism website 11 years ago is still amazed at the staff’s digital work.

“I am really proud of all the Little Hawk journalists!  They were challenged to keep the website rocking and they rocked it.  From great breaking news to podcasts to videos they have really embraced the new digital journalism world.  Studies have shown 98% of teens like getting their news on their phones and I think they are doing a great job of informing and entertaining students at City High with their content,” Jonathan Rogers, adviser of The Little Hawk, said.