By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—The Horizon, IU Southeast’s student news organization, won big at the Society of Professional Journalists (Louisville Pro Chapter) Metro Journalism Awards on June 29.
Student journalists received awards across a variety of categories, from writing to design, photography to graphics, reflecting the breadth of talent and the range of expertise in the journalism program at IU Southeast.
Particularly noteworthy were first-place awards in video and multimedia storytelling, two new areas in the journalism department.
“It shows how much our program focuses on building those 21st century digital media storytelling skills,” said Adam Maksl, assistant professor of journalism, coordinator of the journalism program and Horizon advisor.
The full list of IU Southeast award winners:
|Best Overall Design||Horizon Staff||2nd Place for March 7, 2016 issue|
|Best Use of Video||Jordan Williams||1st Place for “Giving pumpkin spice a try”|
|Commentary/General Interest||Jordan Williams||1st Place for “A dead man’s tale”|
|John Boyle||3rd Place for “Let us hate again”|
|Feature Page Layout||Olivia Cook and Daniel Vance||1st Place for “Learning may cause discomfort”|
|Olivia Cook||3rd Place for “A night of spells”|
|Feature Story||John Boyle||2nd Place for “Activism in the Arts”|
|Front Page Layout||Marisa Gartland and Olivia Cook||3rd Place – Jan. 11, 2017 cover|
|Graphic Illustration||Daniel Vance||1st Place for August 22 cover|
|Informational Graphic||Horizon Staff||1st Place for “Students, not customers”|
|Multimedia Storytelling||Mary Kate Hailer, Joseph Kauffman and Kim Rice||1st Place for “A sweet business”|
|Parker Henes||2nd Place for “Art made from a spatula”|
|News Photo||Morgan Wooden||2nd Place for “Not my POTUS”|
|Sports Column||Parker Henes||1st Place for “For the love of the game”|
|Sports Feature Story||Enrique Bryan||1st Place for “The mental side of athlete fatigue”|
The awards span the editorial tenures of Zak Kerr, Paige Thompson, Katie Casper and Joseph Kauffman.
“These awards are a testament to the program and to how much we grew as a team during this calendar year,” Kauffman said, who had emphasized multimedia reporting and the newspaper’s online presence during his time as editor.
Incoming editor Shannon Greer hopes to build on The Horizon’s success. She is taking aim at a Pacemaker award, the “Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” which The Horizon won in 2015. Moving forward, she would like to focus on updating The Horizon’s design and improving response time—preparing reporters to get news to The Horizon’s readers as quickly as possible.
“This is beneficial to both our audience and our staff, as future employers likely will have those same expectations,” Greer said.
Next week, Greer and four other Horizon staff members will attend a workshops in Minneapolis, Minn. to gather insights into how best to implement these and other improvements. It’s emblematic of The Horizon’s tradition of constantly seeking out new ways to make a good thing even better.
“Students in our program produce the work they do in large part because of their dedication to their community and their desire to serve our IU Southeast community by providing interesting and useful stories that engage our audiences,” Maksl said. “If and when they are recognized for their work, it provides external validation of that strong commitment to their storytelling.”
The Society of Professional Journalists is dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press as the cornerstone of our nation and our liberty, according to the organization’s website. The SPJ was founded in 1953 and the Metro Journalism Awards event was launched in 1981. One of its main goals is “to inspire successive generations of talented individuals to become dedicated journalists,” which it pursues through a scholarship and the inclusion of college journalists in its professional awards event.