Reporters, photographers, and editors at the University Chronicle won five first-place awards, six second-place awards and one third-place award at the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) College Better Newspaper Contest on Thursday, Jan. 25 in Bloomington.
The College Better Newspaper Contest recognizes work among student journalists in a wide variety of categories with work published between Sept. 1, 2016, and August 31, 2017. The submissions were judged by the Illinois Press Association this year.
Submissions were judged on various criteria based on each unique category, with comments often attached to the winning pieces, including for Best Website, “Many community newspapers could learn from the quality of this website.”
The Website category was judged based on the quality of content, ease of navigation, visual design and layout, advertising and a gatekeeper’s role in the community. The Local Breaking News Coverage category was judged on excellence in reporting breaking news coverage within a 24-hour period with enterprise, local importance, objectivity and clarity as the main criteria.
Five of the awards went to Photography categories, “Recognizing excellence in photojournalism by individual newspaper photographers.” The photographs were judged based on both content and technique, such as composition, lighting and overall artistic impression.
The following is a list of the 12 awards received by the University Chronicle staff:
First Place: Best Website, Jessie Wade
First Place: Investigative Reporting, Jessie Wade, “Climate Action deems necessary for humankind”
First Place: Business Story, Kyle Fahrmann, “Eastman Hall renovations face budget quandary”
First Place: Photo Story, Maddie MacFarlane, “2017 North Star College Cup Photo Gallery”
First Place: Sports Photo, Maddie MacFarlane, “SCSU Men’s Hockey vs. UND”
Second Place: Government/Public Affairs Reporting, Kyle Farhmann, “Students who voted for Trump talk personality and policy”
Second Place: Sports Reporting, Alexis Pearson, “Second place won’t slow down these stars”
Second Place: Photo Story, Jessie Wade, “Guillermo del Toro gets spooky with ‘At Home With Monsters’ exhibit at Mia”
Second Place: Sports Photo, Maddie Macfarlane, “SCSU Men’s Hockey vs. U of M”
Second Place: News Photo, Jessie Wade, “S.O.F.C. shows solidarity with Standing Rock Tribe”
Second Place: Feature Photo, Jessie Wade, “Students who voted for Trump talk personality and policy”
Third Place: Local Breaking News Coverage, Jessie Wade, Bailey Vertin, Kyle Fahrmann, “Attack at Crossroads Center Mall sends victims to E.R.”
Young female journalists on the rise
Four out of the five University Chronicle award recipients this year were women: Maddie MacFarlane, Alexis Pearson, Bailey Vertin and Jessie Wade. In both 2014-15 and 2015-16, all three of the award winners were women.