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33% increase in journalism contest entries

The number of entries in the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Contest jumped by 33% this year. Entries submitted in the club’s high school contest are up by 40%.

The figures were revealed by Press Club executive director Darryl Compton at the club’s board meeting Wednesday.

This year, the professional contest received 523 entries, up from 394 last year. It was the most entires since 2006, when the club got 578.

The increase is due largely to more entries by online news operations, a category that had lagged in previous years. The number of “new media/websites” entering this year hit 95, up from 14 in 2010.

But there was also a rebound in the newspaper category. The press club received 220 entries from newspapers this year, the most since 2006 when the club received 251 submissions.

This year’s awards will be presented at a banquet May 21 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

This was also a great year for the high school journalism contest, which received 40% more entires. More importantly, the number of students participating increased by 33%, from 167 in 2010 to 221 this year.

One reason for the increase is that there is a resurgence of high school newspapers locally. For instance, in 2008, school administrators shut down the student paper at Carlmont High School in Belmont after it printed a sexually suggestive opinion piece. The Press Club’s board members asked the school to bring back the paper. They did. And now it appears Carlmont’s journalism program is going strong. This year, 15 students submitted a total of 40 entries to the high school contest.

The high schools participating in this year’s contest are Aragon, Burlingame, Eastside Prep, El Camino, Gunn, Hillsdale, Menlo-Atherton, Mills, Palo Alto, San Mateo, Serra and Sequoia.

The high school journalism awards will be announced at a reception May 2, 4-6 p.m., at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont.

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