February 13, 2014

GSU Student Newspaper Named Best Newspaper

The Gramblinite wins top honors among historically black university newspapers nationwide

The Gramblinite gathered more than seven awards, including first place in the best editorial cartoon and best spot news story categories.
The Gramblinite gathered more than
seven awards, including first place in the
best editorial cartoon and best spot
news story categories.

GRAMBLING, La. — The Grambling State University student newspaper is the best among historically black college and university campus newspapers, according to the Black College Communication Association.

In a national competition in which all HBCU college newspapers were eligible to participate, The Gramblinite came out on top as the best student newspaper with non-regular production. The newspaper is published weekly during the academic year and twice during the summer. Twelve newspapers competed.

“I am thrilled to know that the Black College Communication Association named The Gramblinite the best newspaper in 2013,” Edward Welch Jr., the acting head of the university’s Department of Mass Communication, said. “The award means the newspaper did a lot of things well.  Judges noted the paper’s spot news, sports coverage, paper design, headlines and cartoons.”

Welch said he is “proud of the students,” publication director Wanda L. Peters and university editor Joice M. Dunn who work (with students) to produce the best newspaper each week. “Kudos!” he added.

"This is a proud moment for The Gramblinite and Grambling State University,” said Peters. “The Gramblinite’s designation as the best student newspaper among historically black colleges and universities is a testament to the quality of the work of the student journalists here at Grambling. These students work hard to put out a paper each week and they take their work seriously.”

“This award is also about continuing the strong journalism tradition here at Grambling,” added Peters, who said The Gramblinite last won the top honor in about 2009 for work done in 2008. “We are standing on the shoulders of hundreds of student journalists who laid the foundation for this good work."

The announcement was made at the annual HBCU Excellence in Journalism conference at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas, on Saturday. BCCA is the principal professional association of journalism and communication professors at HBCUs. Professional journalists around the nation volunteer each year to judge entries in 16 categories ranging from spot news reporting, photography, opinion writing, sports, feature writing and online reporting.

“Good layout, interesting and consistent,” wrote the chief judge in the category for Best Student Newspaper (non-regular production). “The Gramblinite has a clean layout that uses promos wisely so they don’t clutter the paper,” the judge wrote. “The paper also does a good job of using wire to plug holes rather than filling holes with fluff pieces. Thought goes into the selection of photos and the presentation of story packages. That’s good to see at the college level,” the chief category judge wrote.

In addition to the best newspaper award, The Gramblinite gathered seven other awards, including first place in the best editorial cartoon and best spot news story categories. Gramblinite cartoonist Nobel Michael, 20, a junior from Lancaster, Calif., has worked with the student newspaper since the fall semester. He won for a cartoon about Obamacare. The newspaper reported and wrote a two-story spot news package, “Grambling loses Legend,” including stories about head football coach Doug Williams’ departure by Diana Sepulveda and Tierra Smith, both of Houston. The judges saw a lot they liked in the package: “There were a lot of elements to like in the package: the "moving forward," the list of Doug Williams’ achievements and stumbles and the variety of reactions from the campus.”

Evan Peters, 31, won second place in the best headline writer category and third place for best individual page design. Peters, a master’s graduate student from New Orleans, La., finished the undergraduate program in December. Commenting about Peters’ individual page design work, the judges said his work had an “Overall clean, traditional design, yet the content strongly reflects the voices/opinions of the student body, which is what a good college paper does.”

The Gramblinite staff won second place for best design. The judges wrote “These covers had impact. Giant attention-grabbing photos and some risk taking in Art and Style. The designers also had a keen eye for photos that conveyed emotion and made solid use of graphics.”

Sepulveda, 24, a senior from Houston, Texas, won third place in the best sports news or game story category for “GSU legend retires after 44 years in NFL,” a story about Charlie Joiner, a wide receiver GSU and SWAC Hall of Famer who played with the San Diego Chargers.

An honorable mention recognition was picked up for best overall sports coverage for the April 11, April 18 and Oct. 3 editions of the newspaper.

The judges included respected journalists and news professionals from across the nation. Judges for the 2013 Excellence in Journalism Awards were:

Regina Boone, photographer, Detroit Free Press
Candace Buckner, sports writer, The Indianapolis Star
Duchesne Drew, managing editor for operations, The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune
Jeanne Fox Alston, news consultant
Deborah Heard, news consultant
Don Hudson, executive editor, The Decatur (Ala.) Daily
Delano Massey, metropolitan editor, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader
Maria Reeve, deputy metro editor, The (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune
Reginald Stuart, journalist and corporate recruiter, The McClatchy Company
Linda Williams, senior editor, The (Raleigh) News & Observer

Gramblinite Award Winning Editorial Cartoon
Gramblinite Award Winning Editorial Cartoon

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Media Contact:
Will Sutton




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