CSU, Chico News

The Orion Wins Top General Excellence Award From California Newspaper Publishers Association

Date: 07-17-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Dave Waddell
Orion adviser

The Orion, California State University, Chico’s student newspaper, received the first-place award for general excellence Saturday, July 14, at the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2006 Better Newspapers Contest awards ceremony.

The presentation marked the ninth time The Orion has won the top award in CNPA’s University Division. No other university student newspaper has won the state’s highest award more than four times.

“The CNPA award, in my mind, is without question the most important college newspaper honor in the state,” said Orion adviser Dave Waddell. “It’s a different set of professional judges every year, so to win first place nine times shows consistent excellence over a long period.”

The awards were handed out at CNPA’s 119th annual convention at The Fairmont hotel in San Francisco. Second place in the University Division went to the student newspaper at Santa Clara University.

The CNPA contest period was from August 2006 to March 2007. The Orion’s contest submission was three consecutive issues from the spring 2007 semester, during which Greg Finley was managing editor, Tanya Roscorla was news editor and Chris Rose was art director.

Finley is currently a summer copy-editing intern at the Washington Post, and Roscorla is a summer reporting intern at the Redding Record Searchlight. Both graduated with degrees in journalism in May.

California publishers, editors and reporters, who selected finalists in each category of competition, initially judged all contest entries. From there, a panel of judges from newspapers outside California picked the first- and second-place finishers.

“News coverage is relevant, well reported and well written,” one judge wrote of The Orion. “Layout is imaginative, creative. Entertainment coverage is strong. Good police blotter. Opinion page gets you thinking.”

A second judge called The Orion “bright, clean, contemporary. … Great graphics and photos, especially in sports.”

CNPA is a trade organization representing hundreds of California newspapers, from the smallest weeklies to the largest dailies, as well as scores of college newspapers.

The Orion, a laboratory newspaper of CSU, Chico’s nationally accredited journalism department, has won dozens of national, regional and state awards. The Orion is again a finalist for the National Newspaper Association’s highest award for college newspapers, to be announced Sept. 29 in Norfolk, Va., at the NNA’s 121st annual convention.