MCA students named finalists for national journalism awards

Justice Mannie, Reporter

The finalists in the National Scholastic Press Association’s Photo of the Year competition for 2021 have been announced and Maize High’s senior Laney Turner has been nominated as an NSPA finalist for one of the best sports feature photos throughout the country.  Maize South senior Lanie Wolf has also been nominated as one of the 10 finalists in the country for the Broadcast journalist of the year award.  

Wolf is the first student from Maize South to be a finalist for this national honor.

Journalism teacher Dan Loving said Turner is the fourth student in his 11 years of teaching to be a national finalist.

“Laney is an extremely hard worker and it shows in the pictures that she takes,” Loving said.

 Turner cried after she heard the exciting news from Loving and the other reporters from the newsmag. 

“I was just really excited and after I got off the phone I cried for a little bit because it was a cool shock,” Turner said. “I didn’t even know that Mr. Loving had submitted my photo for it, so I was really surprised.”

Loving said he believes in Turner’s work and that she deserves the recognition for that photograph.

“I was confident as soon as I saw that photo that it was an award-winner, and I’m glad the judges feel the same way,” Loving said.

Turner has been into photography since she was in seventh grade and it’s something that she enjoys doing. Sports pictures are her favorite photos to capture.

“You kind of just have to be in the right place at the right time,” Turner said. 

Turner has learned throughout the five years she’s been doing photography to focus on the reaction and not the actual action. 

“My favorite part about photography is being able to see how happy my pictures make other people feel because a lot of people don’t realize their emotions as they’re going through things like the sport or activity that they’re doing,” Turner said. “Just being able to see them have a smile from a picture that I’ve taken of them in a moment of stress or happiness is just really rewarding,” 

Wolf has been doing broadcasting since she was in middle school and she started by making videos about the Titanic her freshman year.

Broadcasting teacher Spencer O’Daniel motivates Wolf to do the best she can.

“I feel like O’Daniel pushes me to make the best videos that I can make,” Wolf said.

For Wolf, it has always been easy to come up with creative stories and know what and where she wants to go with them. 

“Lanie is always ambitious and she always has a vision for where she wants to go and how she wants to finish,” O’Daniel said. “Nine times out of 10 she makes the video how she wants and it’s really nice.”  

Wolf has won several broadcasting awards including second place in best anchor performance in Kansas.

“She was really good in front of the camera, but what we saw develop was her ability to tell a video story better than anyone in the program,” O’Daniel said.  

Wolf suggests to aspiring broadcasters work at the craft.

“Try hard and never give up because the possibilities are endless,” Wolf said.