Campus: CSU, Chico -- July 26, 2000

CSU, Chico's Orion Named Best College Newspaper in Nation

The Orion, California State University, Chico's student newspaper, was just named on July 21, 2000, the nation's best non-daily college newspaper by the National Newspaper Association.

The Orion was awarded first place for general excellence in the NNA's Better Newspapers Contest-2000. The CSU, Chico weekly was honored for several issues published in 1999.

"As a journalist and journalism teacher, I try to be careful not to overstate things," said Dave Waddell, The Orion's faculty adviser. "But stack this important award on top of all of the others we've won, and I have to conclude that no college weekly has done journalism so well for so long."

The contest judge in particular praised the newspaper's "terrific" redesign, spearheaded by then-Orion art director Jon Knolle prior to the fall 1999 semester. Knolle is now a CSU, Chico graduate student in instructional technology.

"News presented in comfortable portions," the judge wrote. "Editorial pages full of good reading, too. Well-written columns with less in-your-face attitude than typical college paper. Some terrific, interesting features and reviews. Good photos throughout. You deserve (this award). Excellent work."

The National Newspaper Association, which represents community newspapers, has about 3,300 members. The Better Newspapers Contest awards will be presented at the NNA's 115th annual Convention and Trade Show Oct. 4-7 in Louisville, Ky. The Daily of the University of Washington was named the nation's best college daily.

The Orion is also one of two finalists in the California Newspaper Publisher Association's Better Newspapers Contest. It has been named the top college paper in California in four of the past five years and will receive either the first- or second-place plaque at CNPA's annual convention in August in San Diego.

In addition, the Associated College Press' prestigious national Pacemaker award has gone to The Orion in five of the last seven years and six times all together. The ACP also named The Orion its National Newspaper of the Year in 1998 and 1999.

The Orion, a laboratory newspaper of CSU, Chico's Department of Journalism, celebrated its 25th anniversary last spring.

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