Newspaper earns national honors

With hard work, and a little dedication a lot can be accomplished in a short amount of time, and The Exponent now knows a little more about that.

Recently, The Exponent attended the National College Media Convention in Washington, D.C., a conference attended by 1,600 student media students and their advisors from across the country hosted by the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association.

While there, the newspaper won an Honorable Mention in the College Media Association’s Pinnacle Awards for student newspapers that publish less than weekly. In addition, the paper took eighth-place in the Associated Collegiate Press’ Best of Show competition in the same category.

Since these competitions draw the best of college media and involve over a hundred schools, Faculty Advisor Dr. Brandon Szuminsky said the recognitions essentially mean the paper was judged to be one of the top-five and top-eight papers in the country by two highly regarded student press organizations.

“I think these awards are a reflection of the fact that the staff of The Exponent has worked really hard to produce a newspaper that, when stacked up against the college papers from across the nation, it stands out as one of the top-five, or top-ten,” Szuminsky said. “It’s a testament to a lot of hard work, long hours and I think it is something that can be really encouraging moving forward.”

Szuminsky, an assistant professor of journalism at Baldwin Wallace, accompanied a group of four students to the nation’s capital where the conference featured 275 different sessions with tips to improve student media. Of the schools attending, BW competed with schools like University of Texas at Dallas and Southeast Missouri University.

“If you look at the schools we are ranked with there’s some really big programs, some really big schools and I think it speaks that you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of a small-school education to get a high quality educational experience,” Szuminsky said. “We are able to hang with schools that have 10-, 15-, or 25,000 students and you can get this same level of experience without just being a face in the crowd.”

The four-day convention was featured keynote speeches from Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron, NPR’s Nina Tottenberg, CNN’s Abby Phillips and others, as well as the ACP’s Best of Show Awards.

While the newspaper has been recognized as one of the top-three student newspapers in Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and Western Pennsylvania by the Society of Professional Journalists, this was the first time The Exponent had entered into the National ACP competition and earning a place in the top-eight is something Szuminsky is looking to build on.

“There’s still seven spots to go,” Szuminsky said. “I think that this is a good start in the sense that we now know that we are able to compete but now we need to find the ways to move up the list.”