Campus: CSU Chico -- March 12, 2003

Orion Wins Third Straight National Newspaper Award


The Orion has again been honored with one of the nation’s top college newspaper awards. California State University, Chico’s student weekly was named Newspaper of the Year on Sunday, March 9, by the Associated Collegiate Press.

The award marked the third straight year and the fifth time in six years that The Orion has won first place in the “four-year college weekly” category at ACP’s National College Newspaper Convention. The 19th annual convention was held March 6-9 at the Renaissance Madison Hotel in Seattle. The convention attracted more than 600 students from throughout the United States and three other countries.

The general excellence award was based on a single issue published since September 2002. The Orion entered its Feb. 26, 2003, edition. Spring semester Managing Editor Jen Cooper, a senior journalism major from Joshua Tree, accepted the award on behalf of the newspaper’s staff.

“At The Orion, we’d continue to work just as hard and put out just as great a paper if we never won awards, but it was a great feeling to hear the paper’s name called and know that our hard work is being recognized,” Cooper said. “Everyone who works on the staff—whether they edit copy, write, sell advertisements or design pages—can take credit for a part of the success.”

Dave Waddell, The Orion’s faculty adviser, said a lot of work and preparation go into producing an issue that will impress the convention judges. For example, the paper’s student advertising sales representatives sold extra color ads to offset the cost of color photos and graphics on the front of every section for the Feb. 26 issue.

“Our students work hard to produce a quality newspaper every week, but we’ll go with a little extra icing before the contest,” Waddell said.

Waddell also noted that the Feb. 26 front page was revamped at least twice close to deadline as editors and designers responded to breaking news. That front page carries photo editor Nick Lovejoy’s photo of a car accident that killed CSU, Chico freshman Juan Lugo. Reporter Melissa Daugherty’s stories on the deaths of Lugo and another student in a separate accident are prominent on the front page. The issue also carries an in-depth report on affirmative action by reporter Jacqui Higgins.

Waddell said student leadership is especially strong this semester with Cooper as the top editor, Jessie Gardner as art director and Tyler Lewis as business manager.

Placing second in the college weekly category was The Argonaut from the University of Idaho at Moscow, while third place went to The Maneater from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

The Orion, a student-managed laboratory newspaper of the Department of Journalism, has won a string of prestigious awards. It has been named the nation’s best college weekly in recent years by both the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Newspaper Association. The California Newspaper Publishers Association has selected the CSU, Chico paper as the state’s No. 1 university paper in the seven of the last eight years.

CONTACT: Joe Wills, 530-898-4143
Dave Waddell, Orion Adviser 530-898-4782


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