The Daily Mississippian was named best daily student newspaper, and University of Mississippi students won 14 individual awards in the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Region 12 competition.
Region 12 includes universities in Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana. There are categories for small and large colleges, and UM students compete against students at other large universities. Entries are judged by professional journalists.
All first-place winners advance to judging for national awards, competing against first-place winners in the other 11 regions. National winners will be announced in late spring and recognized at the national SPJ Excellence in Journalism conference in September in Orlando.
The Best All-Around Daily Newspaper category required each publication to enter three newspapers from dates selected by SPJ in March, October and December 2014.
UM first-place winners are:
Ian Cowart, television breaking news reporting (Tupelo tornado aftermath);
Adam Ganucheau, general news reporting (coverage of James Meredith statue incident);
Thomas Graning, sports photography (front-page DM photo after the Alabama game);
Cady Herring, general news photography (front-page DM photo from Tupelo tornado last spring);
Ji Joon Hoo, online feature reporting (grad student, children using poetry to reach elderly patients in Charleston);
Jessi Hota, online in-depth reporting (grad student, Trans Mississippi on being transgender at Ole Miss);
Sudu Upadhyay, TV feature reporting (series from Togo, West Africa).
One winner and up to two finalists are selected for each category. UM finalists are:
Nicole Bounds, online in-depth reporting (depression increasing on campuses);
Ian Cleary, editorial cartoonist (DM cartoons);
Emily Guess, in-depth reporting (Shopping center displaces families);
Sierra Mannie, general column writing;
Dylan Rubino, sports writing (Just Bo, profile of Bo Wallace);
Lacey Russell, feature writing (Remembering fallen brothers, 10th anniversary of ATO fire);
Natalie Wood and Wiley Anderson, television general news reporting (cyberbullying in Oxford schools).
The awards were announced on Saturday during the Region 12 conference at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Kendyl Noon, an officer with the UM SPJ chapter and active in student media, represented the Meek School at the conference.
Patricia Thompson, director of Student Media Center and assistant professor of journalism, said, “We are proud of our students, and grateful to the many faculty who worked with students to produce award-winning work.”