‘The Guilfordian’ garners 2014 national, state awards

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‘The Guilfordian’ garners 2014 national, state awards

Graphic by Karlen Lambert/Guilfordian

Graphic by Karlen Lambert/Guilfordian

Graphic by Karlen Lambert/Guilfordian

The American Scholastic Press Association has named The Guilfordian the “Most Outstanding College Newspaper of 2013 – 2014” in its annual best college media contest.

Richard Plass, chair of the ASPA judging committee, confirmed that The Guilfordian scored 975 out of a possible 1,000 points. Judging categories included content coverage, page design, general plan, art and illustrations, editing, and creativity.

“It was the most points scored by any college newspaper,” said Plass in an email interview. “Jeff Jeske, adviser, Kate Gibson, editor-in-chief, and the entire staff of The Guilfordian newspaper should be congratulated on this excellent achievement.”

In addition to the ASPA award, the Associated Collegiate Press awarded The Guilfordian seventh place in the best-of-show contest at the National College Media Convention, held in February in San Diego; the first six places were taken by universities. The Guilfordian’s Web edition took 10th place.

The Guilfordian also won several awards in the annual state competition held by the North Carolina Media Association, also in February. These included a best-of-show award for the print newspaper.

One individual award-winner was Early College junior Kinsey Danzis, whose story “Amigos for Christ” won first place for sports writing.

“I screamed into a pillow and I rolled around on the floor for a couple minutes because I didn’t expect to win,” said Danzis.

Sophomore Kiera McNicholas won first place in photography with her photo “Mandalas & Monks.”

“Kiera’s photo of the mandalas and monks dominated the front page of an issue, and there was a lot of consensus among the staff that the image was really striking and engaging,” said sophomore Allison DeBusk, The Guilfordian’s photo editor, who chose the photograph to submit for competition.

“I knew it was a spectacular photo — technically and from a photojournalistic standpoint. The amount of positive feedback confirmed to me that the photo had the potential to win.”

Senior Samir Hazboun won second place for his illustrations and graphics; co-layout editors Hazboun and Michaela Beggins also received an honorable mention for page design. Former CCE student Lane Martin and seniors Tom Clement and Zach Kronisch won third place for multimedia package with “Kent Chabotar’s Retirement.”

Junior Shelby Smith, former staff writer and now regular reader of The Guilfordian, believes the paper’s secret to victory lies in the staff and chosen stories.

“I think what makes The Guilfordian so renowned is its professionalism and its never-ending pool of not only talented writers and editors, but also passionate ones at that,” said Smith. “The stories that are covered are meaningful and interesting. There’s a little something for everyone to enjoy, which is exactly what a newspaper needs to do.”

What makes these contests so important anyway?

“We as an organization are very critical of ourselves, and it’s easy for us to see what to improve more than what we’re doing well, said Editor-in-Chief Gibson.

“It’s helpful to see how we’re doing compared to other schools and staffs who are experiencing the same difficulties we experience, to know where we stand among our peers and to get feedback from fresh pairs of eyes that know what we should be striving toward.”

The Guilfordian will celebrate its 100th birthday in October. Jeff Jeske, advisor of The Guilfordian and Dana professor of English, reflected that the newspaper has significantly evolved in his 27 years as advisor.

Jeske,  a first-year literature professor  with no journalism experience in early 1987, became Guilfordian advisor after the publication died that January. He said that then-dean Sam Schuman whimsically made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Subsequently, The Guilfordian has come a long way. Since beginning to enter contests in 2005, it has tied for first place in the ASPA contest nine times. This year is the second time it has won the “Most Outstanding College Newspaper,” the first occurring in 2008.

Considering that Guilford College only offers two journalism classes, compared to its competitor schools, many of whom boast full journalism  programs featuring a full suite of courses, the staff felt especially proud of their accomplishments.

“We have a sense of our mission at The Guilfordian,” said Jeske. “We really have a commitment to excellence.”

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