Finally Distinguished

Apple Valley’s very own student newspaper–The Talon–has received the honor of becoming a Distinguished Site…and it’s not even been a year!

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 12.20.22 PMA Distinguished Site is a recognition given out by the organization Student Newspapers Online (SNO). It gives a news staff six standards to meet over the course of a single school year.  

Only 18 other newspapers in the country have earned all badges, which makes The Talon quite special. The others include Wingspan of Liberty High School in Frisco, TX, RHS Today of Robinson High School, The Echo of St. Louis Park High School, and many more!

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The final badge on Audience Engagement was the hardest, which requires daily social media posts over the course of a month, as well as getting to at least 1,000 followers on two different social media accounts.

Jacob Martin, language arts teacher and advisor of The Talon, said, “That was the biggest challenge for us because we were a brand new site.”

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It was a long process reaching out to viewers to keep the people interested.

“I encouraged all of my students in my class to follow The Talon, which helped, but the biggest thing was to regularly post stuff on Facebook and Twitter about the newest stories written by the staff,” said Martin.

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The Talon is Apple Valley High School’s first online newspaper and it has tremendously affected the arts.

“As far as I know that’s one of the highest level of achievements that a school newspaper can receive,” said activities director Bill Blatzheim. “I think the newspaper needs to continue to be recognized by students.”

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Being an online newspaper with stories written by students, it’s important to reach out to peers from the staffers.

Sophomore Barbara Tan (and younger sister to The Talon’s Jackie Tan) said, “I think it’s cool because it keeps everyone updated and I actually do read it.”

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The Talon this year came in so new just in the fall, but has quickly risen to recognition.