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Aspiring journalists are making headlines

Molly Shore

For John Burroughs High School sophomore Jose Balderas, writing about

sports combines two of his favorite activities.

Jose, 16, a staff writer for the school newspaper, earned a


first-place award for Best Sports Story in the Leader’s inaugural

Editorial Excellence Contest for high school journalists.

“I see ... being able to explain myself through words as one of my

strong points,” said Jose, who was recognized for a Smoke Signal


story about the longtime football rivalry between Burroughs and

Burbank High.

Jeff Keating, editor of the Leader and News-Press, and former

Leader and current News-Press City Editor Amber Willard handed out

awards Tuesday at the Buena Vista Branch Library.

The Burbank High Bulldog received the General Excellence Award,

while Bulldog photographer Gisele Barrios won for Best Feature Photo.

Other Bulldog winners were Kelsey Browne and staff for Best Page


Design, and Diana Osorio for Best Headline Writing.

Other Smoke Signal winners were Oscar Lagresa for Best News Story,

Editor Maria Kornalian for Best Feature Story, and Nick Gitomer for

Best Writing.

Keating advised the aspiring journalists to read good writing and


“Nobody’s ever written the perfect story,” he said. “It’s

progress, not perfection.”


Journalism students from Bellarmine-Jefferson High School and

Providence High School were invited to enter the competition, but did

not submit entries.