The Journal Wins Honors from Great Plains Journalism Awards

| May 27, 2014

Webster University’s student newspaper, The Journal, won a number of honors in this year’s Great Plains Journalism Awards presented by the Tulsa Press Club and Benevolent Association, including editor-in-chief, student newspaper, and website of the year.

Universities from eight states including Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota were eligible for the awards.

The Journal: Great Plains Journalism Awards

Editor-in-Chief Megan Favignano (left) accepted awards for The Journal from the Great Plains Journalism Awards, presented by the Tulsa Press Club and Benevolent Association. (Photo by the Great Plains Journalism Awards)

Webster’s student newspaper received the following awards:

  • Editor-in-Chief of the Year: Megan Favignano
  • Student Newspaper of the Year: The Journal
  • Website of the Year: websterjournal.com

Dan Bauman was also named a finalist for Student Writer of the Year.

“The newspaper is an incredible learning platform for Webster students,” said Favignano, who served as editor-in-chief throughout the past year. “I’m grateful for the level of care I have seen from The Journal staff, editors and advisers during my three years of involvement with the newspaper. They cared about people as well as product. These awards are evidence of that.

“Larry Baden has pushed the students to be their best and to make the paper its best,” she said. “For that, I’m thankful. And I’m impressed by how much work our staffers and editors picked up this past year when we were short staffed. They will all do great work next year.”

Larry Baden, associate professor in the School of Communications and faculty advisor for The Journal, expressed pride in his students’ work over the past year.

“While we are not motivated by awards, this is tremendous recognition for the quality of our program and for the effort and talents of our students,” Baden said. “What makes this special is that The Journal was being judged against great college newspapers, most of which have far bigger staffs than The Journal’s. Additionally, it is judged by some of the nation’s best journalists. A room full of the best professional journalists in the Midwest now know about the quality of journalists graduating from Webster.”

In addition to serving as editor-in-chief, Favignano was instrumental in the paper’s new website, which launched in January. The new design aggregates stories The Journal regularly covers, allowing readers to follow coverage on specific issues of interest by clicking on the “ongoing” tab at the top. The redesigned website also features a “Webster 100” section which includes articles covering the university’s history as it approaches its centennial.

Brian Pratt, the webmaster of the The Journal online, did a great deal of work to code and create a new, more visually appealing, user-friendly theme for the website,” said Favignano. “One of my favorite elements of the new design is that it allows readers to subscribe to receive a PDF of The Journal’s print edition every Wednesday morning during the publishing calendar.”

The Great Plains Journalism Awards were given at a ceremony on May 17 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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