Below is an article that appeared in the El Paso Times about The Burges Newspaper:
Burges journalists: Prestigious award bestowed
El Paso Times Editorial Board
Posted: 11/26/2012 12:00:00 AM MST
Congratulations to fellow journalists at Burges High School. Their newspaper, the Stampede, is the only high-school newspaper in Texas to win a 2012 Pacemaker Award for outstanding news coverage. Staffers were in competition with more than 50 other high schools across the nation.
Being part of a student newspaper in high school or college is a unique extra-curricular activity. It places editors and reporters directly into the adult world of their respective campuses. It combines creativity with objectivity along the narrow, demanding path that is accuracy.
The Burges student newspaper has won Pacemakers before. But members of this staff, in particular, made a wise decision to adjust the paper’s presentation after missing out on the honor in 2011. News coverage was expanded and the newspaper went with a new design. That not only took artistic creativity but it meant reporters had to capture and ride the Burges campus mind-set and put it into words.
There are many fine activities sponsored by the the University Interscholastic League, which oversees extra-curricular activities — music to athletics — in Texas public schools. Most involve after-school hours. They require special, and extra, focus. That means honing the willpower that results in a building block to a successful future and personal discipline.
Most school activities teach teamwork, and that includes parental involvement. Because news on a campus often occurs before or after school
hours, it’s common for parents to drive reporters to an assignment.
But where high-school and college journalism stands out are the face-time opportunities — reporter to newsmaker — all along the chain of influential persons. Reporters meet and interact with important people.
The Burges staff has been on the scene for President Barack Obama’s visits to El Paso. And as Burges journalism teacher Patricia Monroe said, “we didn’t shy away” from the huge and complicated story of administrative corruption in the El Paso Independent School District.
Monroe points out that Stampede staffers have gained the trust of administrators. We see that as major credit points for Monroe, herself. Trust is an important element when covering news events. Trust means better access to newsmakers. Stampede staffers are known for not backing away from controversial topics and have been successful because of that trust.
The National Scholastic Press Association made this year’s Pacemaker announcement. Sponsors are the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and the National Student Press Association.
And Burges High School Stampede staffers, under Monroe, achieved their award by combining creativity with objectivity along that narrow, demanding path that is accuracy.