2001-2002 News Archive

Orion wins national award for fourth time in five years

In what has almost become routine, California State University, Chico's student newspaper, The Orion, has received another prestigious national award for excellence.

On Sunday, March 3, 2002, The Orion received a Newspaper of the Year award by the Associated Collegiate Press at its annual National College Newspaper Convention in Los Angeles.

The honor marks the second straight year and the fourth time in five years that The Orion has won first place in the Associated Collegiate Press' "four-year college weekly" category.

The general excellence award was based on a single issue published since September 2001. The Orion entered its Feb. 6, 2002, edition.

In other national and regional competitions, The Orion fares equally well:

In 2001, The Orion was named the nation's best college weekly by the Society of Professional Journalists, topping 10 other newspapers that also won regional honors.

In 2000, The Orion received first-place honors among university non-dailies in the National Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest.

Over the past nine years, The Orion has won five national "Pacemaker" awards from The National Association Of Newspapers and Associated Collegiate Press as the outstanding non-daily university newspaper.

In six of the past seven years, The California Newspaper Publishers Association has selected The Orion as the state's number one university paper among all dailies and weeklies.

Last month, The Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter, announced that The Orion was the sole university recipient of a James Madison Freedom of Information Award for a series of stories on difficulties getting public agencies to comply with the state Public Records Act.

"Our students continue to distinguish themselves in competition against the nation's other top university papers," faculty adviser Dave Waddell said. "The Orion has become a household name in the world of college newspapers. These conventions reveal to us that it is a paper other students and advisers admire and try to emulate." Waddell is a professional in residence in CSU, Chico's Department of Journalism.

The Newspaper of the Year award was accepted at Sunday's convention by spring semester managing editor Niesha Gates. "The entire staff of The Orion has worked with enthusiasm and dedication each week, and that is reflected both by the quality of the newspaper and the recognition that we received this weekend," she said. "This semester at The Orion has truly been a team effort, and I, for one, can't wait to see what else we can accomplish."

Attending the convention along with Waddell and Gates were news editor Jennifer Cooper, photo editor Jim Starling, art director Colm Conn, editorial design manager Brent Hainsworth, business manager Joe Van Noy and assistant business managers Tyler Lewis and Aaron Ross-Swain.

Placing second in the college weekly category was The Graphic of Pepperdine University, while third place went to The Flat Hat at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.