The Journal: Student newspaper wins big at two regional journalism conferences

| April 14, 2015
Natalie Martinez's award-winning photo, "Homework in the Streets," from the Dec. 10 Journal story, "Administration backs student-led protest near campus."

Photo editor Natalie Martinez’s award-winning shot, “Homework in the Streets,” from the Dec. 10 Journal story, “Administration backs student-led protest near campus.”

Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards

Staff members of The Journal, the Webster University student-produced print and online news publication, received 10 Mark of Excellence Awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 Spring Conference March 27-28. The 2014 Mark of Excellence Awards honor the best of collegiate journalism.

Faculty advisor and School of Communications assistant professor Mary Cox accompanied the students to Omaha, Nebraska, for the event. For the first time, The Journal received the top award for Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper. First-place winners move on to the national Mark of Excellence competition. Their work is judged against winners from 12 SPJ regions.

Region 7 includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. One winner and up to two finalists are selected in small and large school divisions. School divisions are based on enrollment, including total graduate and undergraduate student enrollment. Small school division colleges and universities have 9,999 or fewer students. Large school division colleges and universities have at least 10,000 students.

The Journal‘s Mark of Excellence Awards:

Winners – Small school division:
Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper – The Journal
Breaking News Photography – “Homework in the Streets” – Natalie Martinez
Online Sports Reporting – “Science of Soccer: Webster Soccer Player Finds an Advantage through Flip Throw” – Sam Masterson, Victoria Courtney, Emily Ratkewicz

Finalists – Small school division:
Breaking News Photography – “Children of Ferguson” – Natalie Martinez
Sports Writing – “Webster Quidditch Player Copes with Marfan Syndrome, Stops Playing” – Dane Watkins
General Column Writing – “Navigating the City of Fog” – Alex Wilking
Feature Writing – “Kelley and Kelly Get Married” – Matt Duchesne

Winner – Large school division:
In Depth Reporting – “On Campus Grenade Launchers, M-16’s and Armored Vehicles” – Dan Bauman (Reporting done as intern for Chronicle of Higher Education)

Finalist – Large school division:
In Depth Reporting – “The Costs and Benefits of an Elite College Chess Team” – Dan Bauman
General News Reporting – “Thanks to Outreach, US Colleges Enjoy Jump in Gifts from Abroad” – Dan Bauman (Reporting done as intern for Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Missouri College Media Association

The Journal crew also captured more awards at the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) conference, held April 11 at Northwest Missouri State University. MCMA named Natalie Martinez Photojournalist of the Year, and The Journal placed second in the Best Overall Newspaper category. The Journal also took home the award for accumulating the most points in Division II, based on the number of first, second, third and honorable mentions won in the competition against much larger schools including Truman State, Northwest Missouri State, Missouri Western, Missouri Southern, Maryville and Drury.

Journal staff members were honored with 20 other awards, including four first place finishes: News Writing, Investigative Reporting, Column Writing and Page Layout.  Staffers also won six second place awards, six thirds, and four honorable mentions.

The Journal‘s Missouri College Media Association awards:

Photojournalist of the YearNatalie Martinez, named best photojournalist in Missouri, among all universities.

Sweepstakes AwardThe Journal took home this award for accumulating the most points in Division II, based on the number of first, second, third and honorable mention awards won in the competition.

First Place, Division II
News Writing – “‘Papa’ gives his final lecture” – Megan Washausen
Photo Page – “Meaning Behind Mask” – Mackenzie Wilder, Megan Washausen
Investigative Reporting – Chess Team coverage – Dan Bauman
Column – “Mind Over Media: Data by Design” – Cait Lore

Second Place, Division II
Best Overall Newspaper – The Journal
Political/Editorial Cartoon – “Donate to the Webster University budget crisis fund” – Victoria Courtney
Information Graphic – “A timeline of change at Webster University” – Matt Duchesne 
Photo page – “Fifth grade WiseWriters visit The Rep, write show” – Megan Washausen, Hannah Rolling
Website Homepage – The JournalBrian Pratt, Macy Salama, Matt Duchesne
Multimedia Element – “Science of soccer: Webster soccer player finds an advantage through the flip throw” – Sam Masterson
Feature Writing – “Kelley and Kelly get married” – Matt Duchesne

Third Place, Division II
News Photography – “Protest” – Natalie Martinez
Political/Editorial Cartoon – “Snowden in Russia” – Victoria Courtney
Special Section or Supplement – “99 years and counting Webster History” – Journal Staff
Multimedia Element – “Student performs for one year with US Air Force” – Sam Masterson
In Depth News Reporting – City Council Educational Zoning coverage – Kavahn Mansouri, Gabe Burns
Column – “To be or not to be an English major” – Dane Watkins

Honorable Mention, Division II
News Photography – “Gateway Campus expected in 2016” – Brian Verbarg
Feature Photography – “Meaning Behind Mask” – Mackenzie Wilder
Story Illustration – “Kavahn Mansouri vs. The World” – Victoria Courtney
Photo page – “Students help recreate Beatles rooftop concert” – Megan Washausen, Mary Masurat

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Category: Student Affairs and News, Webster News

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