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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Falcon wins Silver Crown Award from Columbia Scholastic Press Association

Nicole Lee
A wall in the journalism room showcasing many of the awards the Falcon has won in the past 65 years since its establishment.

The newspaper received a Silver Crown award, given by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) on March 15 at a ceremony in New York City, for  the ‘22-’23 newspaper. The award is one of the two major competitions for high school journalism programs, the other being the Pacemaker by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). 

Late last spring, journalism adviser Michael Tyler submitted a printed and website version of the Saratoga Falcon newspaper to CSPA to receive critiques that the newspaper could use as a vehicle for growth. 

“The newspaper these days is very much of a hybrid beast,” Tyler said. “It is moving more and more in the direction of being digital over print.”

The newspaper is critiqued and automatically entered into the Crown competition. Then, a panel of judges scrutinize and rank the submissions, deciding which entries are the champion contenders.

“I’m not super obsessed with the awards, but they are fun to do,” Tyler said. “I particularly like having an outside critique looking at the newspaper because I think it can provide some really valuable feedback.”

Still, the College/Scholastic Hybrid News had several critiques for The Falcon to learn from, including suggestions to create a form to submit corrections, allow for reader comments and encourage readers to submit content to include in the newspaper. With a shift to social media as many teens’ news sources, the critique recommended adding social media policies to the website and improving use of photos and captions to draw readers into stories. 

CSPA praised the website’s often updates, a large variety of story types are released and the articles cover a variety of story ideas. 

“I’m so excited that we earned this for the newspaper. Looking back at the year, this year was the first year that our [first year newspaper students] didn’t have a Journalism 1 class, so it was a different learning curve than what previous years had,” Class of ‘23 Editor-in-Chief Carolyn Wang said. “I think it shows how hard working our staff is and what a great job everyone did.”

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