2023 portfolios impress judges

Each year, CSMA recognizes strong student work through the “XXX of the Year” portfolio competitions, which encompass various areas of speciality: ReporterDesignerPhotographerBroadcast Journalist, and Middle School Journalist. This year’s candidates submitted portfolios by April 15. Those submissions were reviewed by top journalists and educators from across the nation. Winners were announced May 9.


Reporter of the Year
Carly Philpott, Cherry Creek HS


Judge’s comments: Carly shows a mastery of the journalistic format, plus she adds a bit of personal energy that comes across in each article, no matter the topic. Her breadth of writing shows strength in many areas, and her depth of analysis and interviewing provides readers with legitimate information.


Photographer of the Year
Sophie Pallman, Arapahoe HS


Judge’s comments: The first place portfolio demonstrated the strong vision of the photographer with a good mix of action, reaction and storytelling moments. A selection of black and white and color images in the portfolio were used at the right times to add to the dynamic quality of the images. Captions were descriptive and provided details above and beyond what the viewer could see.


Middle School Journalist of the Year
Charlotte Jones, Drake MS


Judge’s comments: Charlotte’s passion for journalism is evident in each aspect of her portfolio. Her willingness to push herself and take on new challenges is commendable, and it’s clear she has developed meaningful connections with fellow staff members in addition to the peers she covers as a student journalist at Drake Middle School. Charlotte’s personal statement references seeking inspiration from role models in journalism but it’s clear SHE is a role model journalist to her peers, and I hope she’ll continue this important work in high school and beyond.


Designer of the Year
Gabriella Polliard, Brighton HS


Judge’s comments:

  • Just so impressed as a leader you made the decision to take on all design responsibilities. You then did your homework reaching out to your inspiration and developed a clear, consistent plan.
  • Your designs have a magazine feel as they follow design principles yet add a funky flavor highlighted by the headline font and text treatment.
  • Your use of spot color enhances the content which is placed in an excellent hierarchy, directing eye flow from most to least important.
  • Also like your use of black and white/color photography. Really makes the spot color pop.
  • Your designs feature so many excellent features: text weaving, clever entry points. You experiment so much and pull it off each time.
  • Careful of small text being too close to the page edge.


Broadcast Journalist of the Year
Logan Baird, Rampart HS


Judge’s comments: Really nice job covering numerous topics. You had some really strong journalistic videos here in the mix, tackling some of the biggest issues of today. Nice to see that you got multiple sources in each and editing was strong. Work to vary up your transitions a little moving forward just to vary up your story structure and be careful of interjecting personal  opinions in the end of your stories.