Harker journalism announced as CSPA crown finalists


Members of leadership from The Winged Post, Harker Aquila, Humans of Harker and TALON Yearbook publications pose for a picture in August 2021. The last time all three (Winged Post, Aquila, TALON) publications were awarded the CSPA crown award was in the spring of 2019.

by Dilsher Dhaliwal, Reporter

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) announced The Winged Post, Harker Aquila and TALON Yearbook publications as Crown finalists in the print news, digital news and print yearbook categories, respectively. 

The publications will receive either silver or gold crown awards during the CSPA Spring Convention from Mar. 16 to 18. The last time all three programs were awarded the CSPA crown award was in the spring of 2019.

“This is just an exceptional year for our program,” Director of Journalism Ellen Austin said. “Given what last year was like when we were completely remote, to get this level of recognition speaks to the incredible journalistic force of this program and the dedication of everybody on staff, especially the leadership.”

The CSPA, based in New York, is affiliated with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Founded in 1925, it accepts newspapers, yearbooks, magazines and online content created by students in middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities for membership. The CSPA Crown Award recognizes “a student print or digital medium for overall excellence.”

The Winged Post was also selected as a Pacemaker finalist for 2021, and TALON Yearbook has been selected as a Pacemaker finalist for the NSPA Spring Convention this fall. The National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), a non-profit organization based in Minnesota, works with student journalists through conventions, conferences and awards programs. The NSPA awards Pacemakers, considered to be the highest national honor in student journalism. 

“It just really reflects on the unity of both the leadership and the staff, I think we all had a very clear vision of what we wanted to produce this year,” Aquila co-editor-in-chief Alysa Suleiman (12) said. “It’s very obvious that we all care deeply about the work that we do as journalists, and I’m really proud and really happy that it’s been recognized by organizations that are such hallmarks of journalism.”