By Steve Nakata, Office of Student Affairs & Enrollment
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, received top honors in five categories during the recent Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 10 Conference, including the best all-around campus newspaper in the Northwest.
Competing with other campuses enrolling 10,000 students or more in the states of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Alaska, The Daily Evergreen took first place in:
Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
General Column Writing-Corrine Harris, Edmonds, Wash.
Sports Column Writing (best for all size campuses)-Beau Baily, Puyallup, Wash.
General News Photography-Danny DeRego, Port Orchard, Wash.
Breaking News Reporting-Tony Buhr, Renton, Wash.
Candace Baltz, director of student media at WSU, and nine student editors attended the conference in Portland, Ore.
“It’s fantastic to see the staff of The Daily Evergreen recognized for their hard work,” she said. “Over the last two years, the student staff recommitted to serving their campus and readers, and it shows with the consistently high quality reporting they print in the newspaper and publish online every day.”
Baltz noted the last time The Daily Evergreen was named best all-around daily student newspaper was in 1999.
Three other students on the Daily Evergreen staff were named finalists in the SPJ competition:
Breaking News Photography-William D’Onofrio, Spokane, Wash.
General Column Writing-Joel Freeborn, Selah, Wash.
Breaking News Reporting-Patrick Groves, Oak Harbor, Wash.
Christine Rushton, Kent, Wash., a graduating senior double-majoring in journalism and flute, served as the paper’s editor-in-chief during the fall semester, as well as managing editor during spring semester. She said the staff worked hard to increase quality standards, improve the culture of the newsroom and do a better job of connecting with its readers.
“Our Evergreen team has gone from feeling successful in just putting out a daily paper to taking pride in studying design and researching in-depth topics for a publication that produces 24/7,” said Rushton. “Receiving the honor of Best Daily for 2013 from SPJ shows the hard work has paid off.”
Through his writing for The Daily Evergreen, columnist Beau Baily enjoys being able to share his thoughts about the sports world with a large audience. He says he writes about anything he’s passionate about and the best ideas often seem to come out of thin air.
“This award is a huge honor and something I’m very proud of,” Baily said. “There’s a lot of criticism that comes with the territory and it’s always nice to receive positive feedback.”
Over 100 students work in the Office of Student Media every semester; many of them major in something other than journalism.
Animal Sciences major Corrine Harris, who was honored for her columns, said writing for The Daily Evergreen allowed her to express opinions about science and agricultural issues in her field, as well as strengthen her writing skills.
“Even though I’ve been a columnist for three years, I have never felt like a ‘real’ journalist,” she said. “Getting this award is the difference between feeling as if I was just an animal science student with a writing hobby, as opposed to a college journalist who focuses on agriculturally related topics.”
By placing first in these five categories at the regional level, the Daily Evergreen has assured itself a top 12 finish at the national level. National winners will be announced in September during SPJ’s national conference in Nashville.
Baltz said even though the final edition of the The Daily Evergreen recently rolled off the press for spring semester, her dedicated student staff will continue to report breaking news online at http://www.dailyevergreen.com/.
The Summer Evergreen will be distributed every Wednesday beginning May 14 and concluding on July 30.