SPJ 2020 Journalism Conference • Sept. 12-13, 2020



Mark of Excellence honors college journalism

By Billy O'Keefe

By Chelsea Brasted
Campus journalism staffs and individual students from across the country were honored at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence luncheon Monday afternoon. The winners were selected from a pool of more than 3,600 entries of work published or broadcast in 2009.

Jenny You receives the Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism award. (NIKKI VILLORIA / The Working Press)

Jenny You receives the Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism award. (NIKKI VILLORIA / The Working Press)

“Regardless of what else is happening in the industry, college students across the country are continuing to embrace journalism, and these Mark of Excellence winners reflect some of their best work,” said Neil Ralston, SPJ vice president of campus chapter affairs, in a news release. “These students are excited about journalism, and they understand that a strong press is vital to our nation’s future.”
Natalie Moya, a student at Ball State University, accepted the award for Best Affiliated Website of a four-year university on behalf of the Ball Bearings staff.
“I think it’s really nice to be recognized by such a prestigious organization. We’ve really made an effort to put out a product that is something a little different from our competition,” Moya said.

Complete list of winners
To see the full list of 2009 Mark of Excellence awards winners, follow this link. More information about the awards, and a roundup of regional MOE winners, also is available here.

Steve Knight took home three awards as a finalist in General News Reporting, Editorial Writing and In Depth Reporting, all for two-year colleges.
“It feels really good to be recognized for your hard work,” said Knight, who entered the Mark of Excellence competition for the first time this year.
SPJ also recognized winners of four other prestigious awards: Distinguished Teaching in Journalism, Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism, Robert D. G. Lewis First Amendment and National Campus Chapter of the Year.

Steve Knight, a finalist in three categories, accepts one of his certificates. (NIKKI VILLORIA / The Working Press)

Steve Knight, a finalist in three categories, accepts one of his certificates. (NIKKI VILLORIA / The Working Press)

“It was an honor to be recognized. It’s neat to see something I did paid off,” said Jenny You, the winner of the Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism award. You graduated in May 2010 and began working as the sunrise producer at WEAU in Eau Claire, Wis., immediately after graduation.
Gene Policinski of the First Amendment Center updated luncheon attendees on the 1 for All campaign prior to the awards presentation. 1 for All strives to educate Americans on the pivotal role that the First Amendment plays in society.
Policinski remarked upon the great strides the campaign has made since its July 1 launch, including creating advertisements which are available on the campaign’s website, 1forall.us. Hundreds of newspapers and television stations have picked up the ads, according to Policinski. Many of the advertisements also feature various celebrities who support the cause, including television host Ellen DeGeneres and singer John Mellencamp.
“(The) website is a wonderful opportunity to educate ourselves, no matter what your profession,” said Policinski.




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