The Ballard Talisman



The BHS journalism program produces nationally recognized publications as well as state and national award-winning writers, artists and designers. Last year The Talisman newspaper news editor, Anna Ferkingstad, was awarded the WJEA state journalist of the year. In September, the publication received notice of their 2014 Pacemaker Finalist nomination in the Tabloid category from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) which is considered the highest honor for a scholastic newspaper in the country. The Pacemaker is considered by many the Pulitzer Prize for scholastic journalism. Recently, the paper won eighth place in the best of show category for an online newspaper at the Fall JEA/NSPA national journalism convention in Washington D.C.

The Talisman also won fourth place and second place respectively, at the JEA/NSPA national journalism convention in San Diego last spring, and the Murrow High School Journalism Awards Competition (competing with scholastic publications in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska). The newspaper reporters and editors have received numerous awards at both the state and national conventions in writing, photography, and design.

In addition, each year both publications are led by editors that serve as members of the NSPA journalism honor roll and the national Quill & Scroll journalism honor society. This marks the first year of transferring to a convergence model of journalism that combines the efforts and content from both the yearbook and newspaper publications. The adviser was awarded the 2012 state Journalism Adviser of the Year in 2012.


Mission Statement

The Ballard Talisman is an open public forum for student expression, and exists to give a student perspective on issues relating to the Ballard student body and community. Please send signed letters with author’s name, class or position (e.g. parent, student, teacher, etc.) to the editor.

Obituary Policy

If a student or staff member passes away during the school year, The Talisman will print a picture and extended caption, however, some cases may warrant an article. Each current student or employee will receive an obituary including name, date of birth, date of death and a short biography. Coverage of former students and employees will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Advertising Policy

The Ballard Talisman reserves the right to refuse any advertisement deemed unacceptable for publication. The Talisman does not run illegal, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate advertisements. If you are interested in placing an ad, e-mail us at [email protected]

Letters to the Editor

Letters submitted must be signed. Though, in some cases, the author’s name may not have to be printed. There is a 500 word maximum. Anything longer may be submitted as a guest article, subject to being edited for length. Letter will appear on the editorial page. Submit a letter to the editor here.


Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the staff editorial board.


The staff reserves the right to refuse or edit editorials and letters for libelous content, obscenity or material considered inappropriate for publication. The Talisman staff is aware of sound journalistic practice found in the ‘Code of Ethics,’ as part of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Obscenities, Profanities, Vulgarities

The staff abides by the AP style guide which states: Do not use them in stories unless they are part of direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them. Try to find a way to give the reader a sense of what was said without using the specific word or phrase. If a profanity, obscenity or vulgarity must be used, flag the story at the top.


Email staff: [email protected]

Social Networks:

Affiliations:  NSPA  JEAwjea logo  Q&S

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The student news site of Ballard High School