Wingspan named Gold Crown winner by CSPA

In just its second year, publication receives Columbia Scholastic Press Association's highest honor

Holding Wingspan's Gold Crown plaque, junior Divya Murali was in New York City to receive the award at Columbia University. This year, a total of 1,100 publications were eligible for judging in the 2017 Crown Awards program.

Divya Murali

Holding Wingspan's Gold Crown plaque, junior Divya Murali was in New York City to receive the award at Columbia University. This year, a total of 1,100 publications were eligible for judging in the 2017 Crown Awards program.

Wingspan Staff

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The Columbia Scholastic Press Association named Wingspan a Gold Crown winner at its 93rd annual Scholastic Convention Friday at Columbia University in New York City with junior Divya Murali in attendance to receive the award.

“Having the chance to receive the CSPA award on behalf of Wingspan was such a great honor,” Murali said. “I was able to interact with students that have the same interests as me as well as attend seminars that gave me an in-depth view on journalism. The whole trip was surreal and the opportunity was an impressive privilege.”

This is the second straight year Wingspan has been named a Crown winner, receiving a Silver Crown in 2016.

“Even though our trip to New York last year was an amazing experience and one of the best trips I have ever taken, it was a bit disappointing that we fell short of winning a Gold Crown in our first year,” Wingspan adviser Brian Higgins said. “To be one of just six high schools in America to win a Gold Digital News Crown is an amazing achievement.”

Crown awards are determined by a panel of judges at Columbia University with publications “judged on their excellence as shown by their design, photography, concept, coverage and writing.

“It felt really good to win a gold crown after we won silver last year,” WTV Executive Producer Maddie Owens said. “I think last year allowed us to improve on the things that we were lacking in and get up to those gold standards.”

Launched in August 2015, Wingspan is still a relatively young publication.

“Wingspan being less than two years old, receiving this kind of high honor is amazing,” Editor-in-chief Megan Lin said. “The amount of work the staff and Mr. Higgins has poured into the site is definitely reflected in getting this award.”

Posting new content nearly every day in its seven sections requires a dedicated staff said fellow editor-in-chief Olivia Kirklin.

“Everyone from first year print writers to four year multimedia students work incredibly hard everyday,” Kirklin said. “It’s definitely a team effort and we hope to continue the success we’ve had so far.”