Best of Best of SNO

Best of Best of SNO: Year-End Edition

It’s been a while since our last Best of Best of SNO report, and since then, we’ve received and read thousands more submissions. Since we’ve changed our Best of SNO submission rules slightly, our publication rate has been slowly increasing. We love to see it!

One of the “easiest” ways to make your content stand out and get published to Best of SNO is to present fresh ideas — topics we’ve never seen, opinions we’ve never heard and concepts we’ve never thought about before. The more captivating, the better.

So in this edition of Best of Best of SNO, we are showcasing some of the most unique topics that have graced our inboxes so far this year. Some were bold, some were unusual and some tugged on our heartstrings. Despite their varying topics, these stories all have one thing in common: a publication on Best of SNO.

Pumpkin-caused emissions spook the environment by Anabel Chia, Carlmont High School 

As soon as the leaves began changing color, submissions about pumpkins, apple cider and Halloween candy started rolling in. We love a good pumpkin-flavored fall product as much as anyone else, but the dozens of pumpkin spice latte reviews we receive every year admittedly start to blur together a little bit.

Analyzing the pumpkin from a different angle, this article explores how increases in pumpkin sales during the fall months can actually bring about unintended environmental consequences as pumpkins are later disposed of and subsequently emit harmful greenhouse gasses. Not to worry, though. The author also tackles different ways to solve this issue, including options for reusing or recycling those leftover orange gourds.

No Place Called Home: Tackling Immigrant Struggles in the College Application Process by Naisha Roy, South Forsyth High School 

“Spooky season” isn’t the only one that comes with the fall months. The beginning of fall, for many students, also marks the commencement of college application season. For most, this means compiling standardized test scores, lining up scholarships and filling out the FAFSA. For some, this already arduous process can be even more complicated.

This opinion piece examines the complexities of applying and paying for college in the United States as a non-citizen student on a visa, covering everything from struggles to secure financial aid to additional English language proficiency test requirements. We appreciate an opinion piece that incorporates interviews and multiple hyperlinks to researched information, and this story does just that.

Teens show symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, some blame Tik Tok by Laken Kincaid, John Carroll University 

As the number of TikTok users and influencers continues to rise, so too do the variety of topics they cover. From “devious licks” to fast fashion, we’ve read many stories covering some of TikTok’s most popular content. That said, none have stood out quite like this one that highlights the neurological disorder, Tourette’s, and its rising prevalence both on and off the app.

Weaving together psychology, pop culture and the pandemic, this story explores the possible correlation between an increase in Tourette’s awareness on social media and a sharp increase in Tourette’s cases and symptoms in the United States since 2020. Could the rising numbers be solely due to mimicry of symptoms seen on the app, or is the pandemic more to blame? The author searches for answers to these questions in this thought-provoking piece that is sure to leave you thinking long after you’ve read it.

The Stories Behind The Banners: An Eagle Eye Veterans Day Project by Ellie Oakes (and others), Tyrone Area High School 

Each November, Veterans Day provides an opportunity for Americans to pay tribute to U.S. military personnel across the country. Whether it’s through large ceremonies or smaller events, community observances of Veterans Day vary nationwide. This collection of stories highlights the unique way one community, with the help of the high school news staff, chose to honor their veterans this year.

As banners with photos and names of individual veterans were erected downtown, Tyrone Area High School writers got to work gathering interviews, collecting images and writing profiles, ultimately creating QR codes so passersby could scan and read more about the life of the veteran displayed on the banner. Originally formatted as a grid template, not only was the story packaging impressive and eye-catching, but the retellings of the veterans’ stories presented a unique and touching way to honor the lives and service of veterans in their community.

Standing up and walking out by McCallum High School staff members, McCallum High School

And last but not least, we can’t forget about multimedia journalism. From videos to podcasts to photo essay submissions, multimedia submissions are a great way to set your content apart and provide unique and captivating coverage of various news events.

This photo essay, covering a school-wide walk out event to show solidarity with sexual assault victims, combines great technique with excellent storytelling. In terms of a photo essay submission, it’s got it all: a wide variety of angles and shots, clear subjects in each photo and substantive captions for each photo. Beyond that, the images themselves capture the emotion and unity of the event, making this an excellent example of multimedia journalism.

And, of course, there’s more where that came from. Check out some of our other recently published stories on Best of SNO for more fresh ideas and inspiration.