Eagle’s Tale named Pacemaker finalist


Courtesy of NSPA

The National Scholastic Press Association has announced the 2019 online newspaper Pacemaker finalists.

The National Scholastic Press Association named Canyon High’s publication, The Eagle’s Tale, as a Pacemaker finalist Jan. 9.

The Pacemaker award recognizes online papers, newspapers, yearbooks, magazines and broadcasts for their content, high quality of writing, design, leadership and photography. The winners will be announced April 27 at the NSPA national convention in Anaheim, California after continuous review of the finalists over a period of four months. 

“The Pacemaker is a big-time national award acknowledged by high school and college newspapers,” Co-editor-in-chief Erin Sheffield said. “If you win a Pacemaker, you’re doing a lot of things right.”

This is the fifth time the Eagle’s Tale has been a finalist for the award. Out of the four previous times, the paper has won twice.

“It’s comforting to see that the strategies that we’re implementing are yielding some success,” Sheffield said. “It’s good to see a celebration of journalism, and it’s reassuring to know someone out there is appreciating our work, and we really are contributing to the world.”

If you win a Pacemaker, you’re doing a lot of things right.”

— Erin Sheffield, 12

Out of the 200 online papers considered, only 44 advanced to finals, seven of which are from Texas.

“We are an unusual newspaper, especially for Pacemakers, in that we don’t have a staff of say 40 students,” Sheffield said. “We are usually between 12-16 people, and to see a small staff with three associate editors, one video editor, one sports editor and two editors-in-chief plus one adviser, every article gets vetted repeatedly.”

Co-editor-in-chief Katelyn Spivey said the award proves a big staff is not needed to produce a quality newspaper.

“I think it goes to show that if you keep putting out good content every single day, your work is going to get noticed,” Spivey said. “It’s not about trying to have the biggest stories and the craziest stories. It’s just consistency and making sure the quality is up to par with what the state and the country expects of you.”