Journalistic royalty: The Inkblot receives crown award


The Inkblot staff’s hard work pays off as they win a Columbia Scholastic Press Association Crown Award.

Ella Lukowiak

CHS students now walk among royalty after The Inkblot received a prestigious Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Crown Award.

As a finalist, The Inkblot will be presented with either a gold or silver Crown Award at the CSPA’s 98th annual scholastic convention on March 18. As one of only 35 hybrid papers selected globally, The Inkblot was chosen for “excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage and writing,” according to the CSPA.

Receiving this award is a great honor, and the Editors-In-Chief of The Inkblot believe that the embodiment of the CHS community in each issue is what makes the paper so special.

“I think that we’ve managed to have sections that stand out for every aspect of the school,” said junior Lillian Chen of Tinton Falls, co-Editor-in-Chief of The Inkblot. “It goes deeper than just ‘these are the school events, this is some art that someone did.’ It [The Inkblot] expresses student opinions and shows different sides to the students.”

Co-Editor-in-Chief senior Carla Vreeland of Aberdeen agrees that the press is a significant aspect of bringing communities together, whether it be on a global or school-wide scale.

“Our country, our society runs around press,” Vreeland said. “It [The Inkblot] can start as a jumping off point of TV, for web, social media, writing, editing, graphics. I think it’s just really important to show students what they enjoy doing and have them get help in a welcoming environment.”

Publishing a paper with each of these sections, however, can be a daunting task. Chen explains that a tremendous amount of work goes into printing six times in a nine month school year.

“It’s a lot of organization and coordination, and obviously sometimes you have a lot of homework and then you also have a ton of Inkblot stuff on top of that,” Chen said. “But it’s really rewarding to actually see the entire paper come together and have this physical reminder of ‘This is the product of all the work that you did.’”

While putting together an issue of an entirely student-run newspaper would take a lot of work for anyone, many of the other papers recognized by the CSPA have large staffs to support their heavily-funded publications. Journalism teacher and Inkblot advisor Wayne Woolley emphasizes the impressive work ethic of The Inkblot’s edit board.

“The editorial board never ceases to amaze me in how much they can do in such a short period of time,” Woolley said. “The students that are on the edit board are always well-selected by their peers, so we always end up with people who love The Inkblot and who are good at the aspects of the writing, the editing and the layout.”

After students work to make their sections the best they can be, they witness the fruits of their labor on Inkblot distribution days. These six days a year are often characterized by the bustle of students in the halls as they tear open the first page, and according to Vreeland, it is those moments that make the process worthwhile.

“The moment specifically that comes to mind that is the most rewarding is when we get to cut open our box of Inkblots and distribute them to the school 5 or 6 times a year,” Vreeland said. “Just being able to see the students get excited to see their work in the newspaper and know that we had a part of bringing that to them is very exciting.”

This thrill that students experience isn’t the only reward to being involved in The Inkblot. Woolley believes that the newspaper plays a vital role not only in the CHS community but in students’ lives as they move into their futures.

The Inkblot is right at the core of the ‘communication’ part of Communications High School,” Woolley said. “Being part of something that has as many moving parts as The Inkblot is just a great skill for anybody no matter what they end up doing after they leave CHS.”