The Pearl Post nominated for 2 L.A. Press Club awards


Kirsten Cintigo

Editors Michael Chidbachian and Kirsten Cintigo after receiving second place for both the online and print publications at the 2017 SoCal L.A. Press Club Awards in June 2017.

Martin Garcia

The SoCal Journalism Awards, hosted by the Los Angeles Press Club, has selected Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s The Pearl Post as a finalist for “Best High School Newspaper” and “Best News Website.”

This year marks the 60th SoCal Journalism Awards, which will be held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel June 24 from 4:30-9 p.m. Since 2012, the newspaper has been a finalist for the “Best High School Newspaper” award six times.

Throughout 2012-2016, The Pearl Post has maintained a rivalry with Highlights newspaper from Beverly Hills High School, with The Pearl Post taking first place in 2012, Highlights fighting back and achieving first place in 2013 and 2014, but placing second in 2015 and 2016.

That rivalry changed in 2017 when Highlights moved from a print newspaper platform to an app. Instead, student newspaper The Accolade from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton took first place, leaving The Pearl Post in second place for Best High School Newspaper.

“It was surprising not to see them (Highlights) there because they were sort of always our competition,” Online Editor-in-Chief Jessica Salguero said. “And they have way more resources than us.”

However, just because other people are competing for the same award doesn’t mean a heated feud is always sparked.

“You can’t take it too seriously because then it’s not fun,” Jercan said.

The Pearl Post’s news website got its first L.A. Press Club SoCal Journalism Awards in 2013. However, its competitors aren’t high schools. Instead, the website is competing against college news websites that include University of Southern California and Cal State University Northridge.

“It feels great knowing we’re the only high school up against all these high tier colleges,” Salguero said.

The website had renovations done and a goal of two new items uploaded per week, but more stories could also potentially mean less quality.

“Well, we had it as a goal, but if we couldn’t make it we didn’t push it,” Salguero said. “We’d rather spend a good amount of time editing and making one good article rather than two mediocre ones.”

Jercan and Salguero won’t be attending the award ceremony, but are glad to be nominated.

“The nomination is rewarding,” Jercan said. “It shows we were always putting our 100%.”