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Journalism students pick up nine awards in regional competition

Journalism students pick up nine awards in regional competition

Students from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism were honored April 10 for their reporting, opinion writing, photography and independent media organization skills in the Region 4 Mark of Excellence awards sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The awards were announced in a virtual ceremony due to COVID-19. Region 4 includes Michigan, Ohio, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Ohio University competes in the large university division.

“The faculty of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism are proud of our winners in the SPJ Region 4 Mark of Excellence competition,” said Eddith Dashiell, journalism school director. “Coming away with nine awards from such a prestigious professional journalism organization exemplifies the important role student media play in journalism education. Congratulations to our SPJ winners.”

Judges considered 95 entries submitted by students from 12 public and private universities in the four-state region. The awards honor work completed during the 2020 calendar year. Winning entries will compete against the winners from SPJ’s 11 other regions for the national Mark of Excellence awards.

“I don’t like to use the term ‘student journalists’ because the work we enter is on par with what community journalists are doing,” said Nerissa Young, adviser to OHIO’s national award-winning SPJ chapter. “Plus, some of the winning entries were from internships at community news organizations.”

Winners are:

  • Ashton Nichols, December graduate from Mason, Ohio, in the newspaper General News Reporting category for her story published by The Post about sustainable farming in southeast Ohio’s dairy industry
  • Joseph Stanichar, junior from Cincinnati, Ohio, in the Video Game Reporting category for his story published by Paste Magazine about why disabled players consider “The Last of Us, Part II” as the most accessible video game to date
  • Justin Thompson, senior from Granville, Ohio, in the Online Opinion & Commentary category for his column published by The New Political about how the NBA should help its players who want to champion racial justice
  • Zach Zimmerman, sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Online Feature Reporting category for his story published by The New Political about Ohio Democrats’ efforts to renew enthusiasm for their party after the 2020 general election

Finalists are:

  • Sarah Donaldson, junior from Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, in the General News Photography category for her photo published by The New Political of a Black Lives Matter rally in Athens
  • Bryce Hoehn, senior from Ottoville, Ohio, in the Online Opinion & Commentary category for his column published by The New Political about how progressivism is a winning strategy
  • Jackson Horvat, Honors Tutorial College junior from Canfield, Ohio, in the newspaper Feature Writing category for his story published by The Post about the Moonville Tunnel’s history
  • Ashton Nichols, December graduate from Mason, Ohio, in the newspaper General News Reporting category for her story published by the Dallas Morning News about residents renting out their backyard pools for extra income during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Staff of The New Political in the Best Independent Online Student Publication category

SPJ is the nation’s oldest and largest journalism organization in the nation. It promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.