Campus: CSU, Chico -- June 11, 2001
Orion Wins National Award for Best Student Weekly
from Society of Professional Journalists
California State University, Chico's much-honored student newspaper,
The Orion, has added another prestigious national award: the Mark
of Excellence Award for Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper.
The awards were announced June 6 by The Society of Professional Journalists
(SPJ), the nation's largest journalism organization. CSU, Chico and other
winners will receive their awards Oct. 4-6 at the 2001 SPJ national convention
in Seattle, and will be honored in the July/August issue of Quill, the
The competition included 2,200 entries in 36 categories for print,
radio, TV and online collegiate journalism. The University of Texas
at Austin's Daily Texan won for best daily student newspaper.
"This is a big award, because to win it The Orion had to best
the top college papers from 10 other national regions, as judged by
professional journalists," said Dave Waddell, The Orion adviser.
"That we've never won it before, despite all of our successes,
says a lot about how tough it is to win. I appreciated the judges' comments
about The Orion's professionalism and the 'truly collaborative team
effort' that's evident in our paper."
In recent years, The Orion has been one of the most-honored student
newspapers in the country. Over the past eight years, the paper has
received five "Pacemaker" awards from the National Association
of Newspapers and Associated Collegiate Press, five first-place finishes
in California Newspaper Publisher's Association Better Newspapers' Contest
and two National Newspaper of the Year awards from the Associated Collegiate
"The Mark of Excellence Awards are among the most prestigious awards
college students can win," said David Carlson, SPJ vice president
for campus chapter affairs. SPJ has presented student journalism awards
for 27 years.
Student newspapers were judged for design, content, writing style, investigative
prowess and editorial page. Before being considered for the national
competition, newspapers had to place first in SPJ's regional competitions.
Commenting on The Orion, judges said: "This large broadsheet shows
excellent design throughout. Handsome section fronts feature strong
feature stories and art. Content is all local, with well-written and
carefully edited stories. Editorials run in each issue and are thoughtful
and well-written. Numerous guest columns and letters offer a variety
of opinions. A near professional quality production by what is evidence
of a truly collaborative team effort. California State University, Chico
has a student publication to be proud of."