Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The Whitworthian" garners seven awards at the 2009 Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards

Print version, website win first place in their respective divisions

Whitworth's student-run newspaper, The Whitworthian, has once again received major recognition for its work, this time earning seven awards at the 2009 Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Whitworthian took first place for Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper, beating out runner-up Gonzaga University, and whitworthian.com received first place for Best Affiliated Website. Junior Jerod Jarvis received first place in the category of Online Opinion and Commentary.

Sophomore Aileen Benson received second place for Editorial Cartooning, as did the Editorial Board in the Editorial Writing category for its "In the Loop" column. Two reporters received awards in the category of Online In-Depth Reporting for their contributions last spring – second place for '09 alumna Jasmine Linabary's "The Women" series, and third place for junior Yong Kim's "Pornography: The Series."

"The second- and third-place finishes by Jasmine Linabary and Yong Kim in the online in-depth reporting were especially noteworthy," says James McPherson, associate professor of communication studies and adviser of The Whitworthian. "Both students did their comprehensive multimedia projects by themselves, using a wide variety of media tools. On the other hand, the winning project in the category involved the efforts of three faculty members and almost 30 students, most of whom were either law students or graduate students."

The current newspaper staff includes editor-in-chief Morgan Feddes, a junior, online editors Jerod Jarvis, a junior, and senior Danika Heatherly, as well as 15 editors and roughly 40 reporters, columnists, photographers, copy editors and graphic designers.

"Over the past few years, The Whitworthian staff has been dedicated to reporting the news we feel students need to know," says Feddes. "We've worked tirelessly to improve both our print issues and our website to ensure our readers have the most complete information possible. We have continued to expand our online presence by using many of the tools available to us on the Web. We've dedicated ourselves to accuracy and integrity, which has shaped the way we report the news."

In the category of student-run newspapers at four-year colleges and universities, The Whitworthian's seven wins were matched by the University of Washington and the University of Montana. Seattle Pacific University and Pacific Lutheran University both received five awards for their publications. The Whitworthian was nominated in 12 categories.

"These awards would also not have been possible without the support we've received from the Whitworth community," says Feddes. "The administration continually seeks to be transparent with us; ASWU supports us, not just in finances but in our continual quest to keep the campus informed as well. The faculty in the communications department has been phenomenal in their support for us, and we wouldn't be able to do what we do without their help – particularly that of our adviser, Jim McPherson. His solid support of our work and his advice have continually helped us in our success."

The Whitworthian's online edition won the 2009 Associate Collegiate Press Pacemaker Award, considered the most esteemed honor in student journalism. In both 2008 and 2007, The Whitworthian took third place in the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper category in the Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards. In fall 2007, the publication took third place in "Best of Show" in the four-year weekly tabloids category at the 86th annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisors National College Media Convention. In spring 2007, the newspaper won the top award in the Inland Northwest Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists 2006 Excellence in Journalism Competition. The Whitworthian won the Outstanding Achievement in Student Journalism Award in 2005.

Region 10 covers colleges and universities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation's most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. For more information about SPJ, please visit http://www.spj.org.

The Whitworthian has served as the main source of news and sports coverage for the Whitworth community since 1905 and is run entirely by students. The newspaper's print edition is produced weekly and online content is updated daily at http://www.thewhitworthian.com.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

James McPherson, associate professor of communication studies and adviser of The Whitworthian, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4429 or jmcpherson@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.