Waynesburg University’s student newspaper wins record number of awards – Observer-Reporter






WAYNESBURG – Waynesburg University’s student newspaper, the Yellow Jacket, recently earned a record number of journalism awards for its work in 2016.




The student-run newspaper won 16 awards, breaking the previous year’s record of 11 awards.




Counting staff, group and individual awards, the newspaper was named as a finalist for 11 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and five awards from the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, including one first-place award, one second-place award and three honorable mentions.




“Any time a student wins an award from SPJ, it’s a reminder that the curriculum and program we have for journalism students at Waynesburg is really preparing students for the real world,” Brandon Szuminsky, faculty adviser for the Yellow Jacket and instructor of communication, said in a news release. “To win such prestigious awards only further reinforces that students are getting a great education and still enjoying all the benefits of a small-school setting.”




The SPJ Mark of Excellence competition divides entrants into small schools, with fewer than 10,000 students, and large schools, with more than 10,000. Seven Yellow Jacket staff members were named finalists among small schools in categories such as general news, in-depth reporting, sports writing, feature writing and others. The finalists for these Mark of Excellence awards were selected from among entrants across Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania.




The Yellow Jacket also was named a finalist for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper award, which critiques all non-daily newspapers regardless of school size.




“We’re being compared to schools with great journalism programs all across the state, and we’re more than measuring up,” said Kimmi Baston, executive editor of the Yellow Jacket. “I’m incredibly proud of the individuals whose hard work and countless hours earned them this recognition.”




The Yellow Jacket also received five Student Keystone Press awards from the PNA.




“Winning awards like these is great for resumes and bragging rights, but more importantly they’re a testament to the high-quality education that students can get in the Department of Communication,” Szuminsky said. “We believe we’re doing what we say we will when it comes to providing students with real benefits, and this is outside validation and support for that idea.”

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