By Colin Donohue
Indeed, all this Pinnacle talk (writing?) is for a reason: Former Pendulum A&E editor and current High Point Enterprise reporter Stephanie Butzer won a second-place Pinnacle Award in the College Media Association’s Best Multimedia Feature Story competition for her piece “Predator control deepens struggles for coexistence between wild canines, humans.”
Now, you’re probably asking, “Why didn’t Stephanie finish first?” To that I would respond, “Shut up! You’re being negative and rude.” Then, I would also say, “Stephanie did do first-place work.”
Not because I know Stephanie and think highly of her and her reporting. But because among the top three finishers, Stephanie’s story was the meatiest and the most deeply reported. But wait. That’s not to say the story that won isn’t good.
Actually, it’s damn good and quite impressive. In fact, the work the students at the Mustang News are doing with online story presentations is fantastic. They’re taking risks. They’re experimenting. They’re being creative. It’s fun to watch.
Clearly, the Best Multimedia Feature Story competition included a lot of tremendous student work. When I sit in awards presentations, I always marvel at what college students are producing. It’s not that they’re just using the toys available to them to tell stories online. They’re using those tools in targeted, meaningful and impactful ways. They’re being creative and analytical. They get it.
Like Stephanie, who thought clearly and purposefully about how she was going to build her final “predator control” story. She considered the pieces of information she could break out for readers. She contemplated the multimedia elements best suited to accompany her reporting. She built an online package rich with information, deep reporting and narrative storytelling techniques.
Each and every story that was honored with an individual online Pinnacle award exhibited clarity of purpose and creativity. AND AS IMPORTANTLY: They demonstrated GREAT reporting and GREAT writing. Remember, a story’s shine isn’t as important as its heft. So CONGRATULATIONS, STEPHANIE! What a fantastic honor. One you deserve.
(Wondering why I wrote so much about this award in such choppy grafs? Well, I knew I wasn’t going to use a Pinnacle pun. But who says I couldn’t use an acrostic?)