NWN Editor Wins First Place National Award


Junior and NWN news editor Gabby Abesamis receiving her award at Nationals.

By Ivana Kosir

Niles West News editor and junior Gabrielle Abesamis clinched first place in the National Scholastic Press Association’s (NSPA) Story of the Year under the Diversity category for her story “Bryan Taico: Not Just the Kid with UGGs.”

Abesamis said she is pleased with the results.

“I really didn’t expect it,” Abesamis said. “I was hoping to get fourth. I wasn’t even expecting to be in the top 3.”

This award is said to be one of the highest awards for high school journalists, according to NWN advisor Evelyn Lauer.

“This is a huge honor, as the Story of the Year award is seen as the highest individual honor a publications student can receive at the national level,” Lauer said. “First in the nation is amazing–and I am so proud of her, especially because this article was so well-received at our own school and is a great tribute to Bryan’s time at West.”

According the judge, Abesamis embedded multiple traits of good journalism to produce an award-winning product.

“The reporter did a masterful job of telling the story of one teen’s coming out through simple, clear writing backed up by solid multi-source reporting. The variety of interviews and the timely news peg elevated this story beyond many of the other compelling entries that contained just one source. This is a model of good journalism for student journalists and adults alike to emulate,” the judge’s comments stated.