IU Southeast journalism students receive awards at ICPA convention

16th April 2015

Eight Indiana University Southeast journalism students and recent graduates were honored at the annual convention of the Indiana Collegiate Press Association.

The ICPA convention occurred on Saturday, April 11, 2015, at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The IU Southeast journalism students and graduates earned 14 awards in journalistic writing, design, photography and online journalism, twice as many awards as The Horizon had won in the previous year’s contests. All work was published in IU Southeast’s student news outlet, The Horizon.

“My students do the work they do to serve the IU Southeast community,” said Adam Maksl, assistant professor of journalism and faculty adviser of The Horizon. “But it’s great to get external validation of the amazing work these students produce.”

Maksl said several awards, including three that won first place, were for stories The Horizon has published that focused on in-depth social issues, like domestic violence, mental illness and suicide prevention. He also said the awards in these categories show the professionalism of IU Southeast journalism students.

“I often tell my students that they’re not student journalists, but rather they are journalists who happen to be students,” Maksl said.

That sentiment was expressed by judges’ comments. For a story about the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder on student veterans, the judge said the story was “a well-done treatment of a timely topic” that was “worthy of running in a daily newspaper.” Another judge, for a story on domestic violence, praised the writer for her “empathetic, yet straightforward piece on a topic that is often underreported in the world, let alone college newspapers.”

Joel Stinnett, senior journalism major and editor-in-chief of The Horizon, won third place in news writing. He said he is proud of his fellow Horizon staff members, especially because he has been seeing recent emphasis on feature writing and design pay off.

“We’ve focused so much on telling more authentic stories and making sure those stories are designed to catch a reader’s attention,” Stinnett said. “Our readers tell us they notice the work in these areas, but winning in these contests helps reward all the hard work we put into producing The Horizon.”

The IU Southeast journalism program congratulates all award winners listed below for their work:

  • Nic Britton, journalism sophomore (second place, best entertainment column)
  • Elijah Lossner, journalism senior (first place, best sports feature story; third place, best breaking news reporting online)
  • Jims Porter, journalism alumnus (first place, best opinion column; second place, best feature photo)
  • Josh Rowe, computer science and math junior (third place, best photo essay)
  • Ethan Smith, journalism senior (first place, best in-depth story)
  • Joel Stinnett, journalism senior (third place, best non-breaking news story)
  • Paige Thompson, journalism junior (first place, best feature story)
  • Bekah White, fine arts senior (third place, best special section cover; third place, best news photo)

The Horizon staff also won a first place award for best overall design, a third place award for best single issue and a third place award for best themed issue.

In addition to the awards ceremony, the annual convention included breakout sessions and an election of officers, during which Maksl and two of his students – junior journalism major Zak Kerr and senior journalism major Kristin Kennedy – were elected to the ICPA board.

The Horizon is a multi-platform student-run news organization that serves as an experiential learning lab for journalism majors at IU Southeast. Non-journalism majors also often volunteer for the staff. Students on The Horizon staff learn and apply skills in information analysis, effective storytelling and principles of digital media.

For more information, contact Adam Maksl at amaksl@ius.edu or 812-941-2892.



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