2003-2004 News Archive

Getting the lead:

Rookie journalists practice craft, learn the trade

Students and advisers from 13 high school and middle school newspapers gathered at Chico Sate to converse, compete and pick up advice on career and craft. Co-sponsored by the Chico State journalism department, California Newspaper Publishers Association, and the Journalism Education Association.

Read the complete story including contest winners...

The Orion wins seventh National Pacemaker

Chico State's student newspaper, The Orion, has won its seventh National Pacemaker award--widely considered the top prize for general excellence in college journalism.

The award was presented in November by Tom Rolnicki, the executive director of the Associated Collegiate Press, at the 82nd annual National College Media Convention. Held at Dallas' Hyatt at Reunion Center hotel, the convention attracted about 2,600 college journalists from throughout the United States and Canada.

In announcing this year's winners, Rolnicki noted that the National Pacemaker is often referred to as "the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism." The Orion was the only university newspaper in California to receive a National Pacemaker this year, although three others were finalists for the award: The Daily Californian at UC Berkeley, the Daily Bruin at UCLA and The Graphic at Pepperdine. The staff of the Dallas Morning-News did the judging for the Pacemaker.

Orion Managing Editor Melody Gutierrez of Twentynine Palms and Art Director Jessie Gardner of Reno accepted the award on behalf of The Orion staff. 

"I was so nervous sitting there hoping our name would be called," Gutierrez said. "We gripped each others' hands like a football team waiting for the final field goal kick to go through. When we heard The Orion's named called, we jumped up and screamed.

"I can't explain how good it feels to have this award. It shows that all of our long hours and hard work really paid off."

Also attending the convention was Business Manager Rob Calvin of Danville along with other staff members and faculty adviser Dave Waddell.

"Quite a loud roar went up from our section of the convention hall when The Orion's name was called‹a display of The Orion spirit," Waddell said. "Winning a Pacemaker means you're the best of the best. It speaks to the passion and commitment of our editorial, design and advertising staffs."

The four award-winning issues came from the fall 2002 and spring 2003 semesters. In fall 2002, Jennifer Cooper of Joshua Tree was managing editor, Brent Hainsworth of Lompoc was art director and Tyler Lewis of Santa Rosa was business manager. 

Gardner became art director in spring 2003, joining the returning Cooper and Lewis. Gutierrez was news editor in fall 2002 and opinion editor in spring 2003.

The Orion, a habitual finalist for the National Pacemaker since the late '80s, won the award five times in the 1990s. In addition to the Pacemaker awards, The Orion has captured a slew of state, regional and national awards. The National Newspaper Association and the Society of Professional Journalists have each named The Orion the nation's best university weekly in recent years. The Chico State paper also was picked as the Associated College Press' Newspaper of the Year at the National College Newspaper Convention five times in the last six years. And the California Newspaper Publishers Association has named The Orion the state's best university newspaper in seven of the last nine years. The Orion, which was founded in 1975, is a laboratory newspaper of Chico State's nationally accredited department of journalism.

Students Beat Pros: Tehama Group Communications captures IABC awards

Goliath never saw the rock, and neither did the public relations professionals who competed in Sacramento's chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators Crystal Awards competition.

Competing against professional public relations agencies and some of the best business communicators in Sacramento, Tehama Group Communications, Chico State's student-managed public relations agency, won two awards of merit at the IABC chapter's awards ceremony held May 22 at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West Hotel. TGC received awards for newsletter production and news release writing.

The agency entered last year's COMM newsletter's, from spring and fall of 2002. The newsletter is produced each semester for the College of Education's School of Communication. The winning news release was prepared for another agency client, the American Lung Association, Superior Branch of Chico. Cheryl Taylor, Jerilee Hopkins and Greg Yatman produced the spring 2002 issue and Alexis Dias, currently TGC's special projects director, and May graduates Susan Olsen and Gennifer Horowitz, produced the newsletter in fall 2002. Both teams worked under the direction of Sarah Fry, development director for the College of Communication and Education.

"It was really exciting to win a professional award as students," said Laura Langerwerf, a member of last semester's award winning staff and this semester's TGC design and production director. In addition to Langerwerf's work in TGC, she received an award from IABC/Las Vegas for her design work on a project for Clark County of Nevada.

IABC/Sacramento has more than 100 members, and received more than 200 entries in nearly 40 categories including design, photography and technical writing. Internationally, IABC is composed of more than 13,000 business communicators and public relations professionals in more than 60 countries.

"I've been a member of IABC for 20 years," said Keith Sheldon, TGC's adviser. "I can't remember hearing about another instance of student work going up against professionals. These students should be very proud of their accomplishment."

Chico State's IABC student chapter is one of the largest student chapters in the country with more than 50 members. There are 45 student chapters throughout the world, including three in Canada and one in Hong Kong. Founded in 1990, TGC is the nation's longest operating student-managed public relations agency. TGC provides students the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience in an educational environment. TGC maintains a diverse client base with local, regional and national accounts including the American Lung Association, Superior Branch, two Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Clark County of Nevada.

The Orion honored again: NNA award part of tradition

In the 1990s, The Orion was one of the nation's most honored college newspapers. 

The tradition continues in the 2000s. The Orion, Chico State's student newspaper, received the second-place honors in the general excellence category of the National Newspaper Association's collegiate division. First place was captured by The Daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin, while third place went to The Lantern at Ohio State University. The Orion was previously awarded first place for general excellence in the NNA's 2000 and 2002 Better Newspapers Contests.

This year's awards were presented during the NNA's 117th annual convention in Kansas City, Mo. In addition, award winners will be recognized in a special October issue of the NNA publication Publishers' Auxiliary.

"This marks the third time in four years that we've been No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation," said Orion adviser Dave Waddell. "That's according to the National Newspaper Association, the biggest newspaper organization in the country. Our students' work was judged by professional standards and again came out on the top of the heap nationally."

Established in 1885, the National Newspaper Association calls itself the national voice of community newspapers. NNA represents owners, publishers and editors of America's community newspapers and, with 3,200 newspaper members, is the largest newspaper association in the United States. 

The Orion has been a consistent winner of state, regional and national awards. In addition to the NNA, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Collegiate Press both have named The Orion the nation's best college weekly in recent years. The CSU, Chico paper also has been the California Newspaper Publishers Association's top university paper in California in seven of the past nine years.

The Orion's 2003 entry in the NNA contest consisted of three issues from 2002-those published on Feb. 6, Nov. 20 and Dec. 4. During the spring semester 2002, Niesha Gates was managing editor, Colm Conn was art director and Joe Van Noy was business manager. During the fall semester 2002, Jen Cooper was managing editor, Brent Hainsworth was art director and Tyler Lewis was business manager. The Orion, first published in 1975, is a laboratory newspaper of CSU, Chico's Department of Journalism.