CSU, Chico News

The Orion Wins Top Honors at National Journalism Convention

Date: 03-03-2009

Joe Wills
Public Affairs
Dave Waddell, Orion adviser
Journalism Dept.

The Orion, California State University, Chico’s award-winning student newspaper, made a sweep of top awards at a national journalism convention last weekend.

On Sunday, March 1, The Orion received first place for general excellence in the Best of Show competition for broadsheet newspapers at four-year colleges and universities. Second place went to The State Hornet at California State University, Sacramento, and third place to The Tartan at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

The Orion, competing against colleges and universities across the United States and in Canada, also took first-place honors for interactive multimedia content for a November 2008 video report on the band Ozomatli. The winning video was produced by Orion video editor Rodolfo Vazquez of Woodland. Second place in the interactive content category went to The Daily Californian at the University of California, Berkeley.

The awards came at closing ceremonies of the Associated Collegiate Press’ 25th annual National College Journalism Convention at the Marriott Mission Valley Hotel. About 875 college students and media advisers from the United States and Canada attended the event.

On Saturday, Feb. 28, during the annual California College Media Association awards presentation at the same hotel, The Orion also took first place for best overall design and for general excellence while competing against all four-year university weeklies in the state.

The California College Media Association awards were accepted by Orion Art Director Dan Doxtater of Redwood City and Managing Editor Nicole Williams of Livermore. Julian Williamson of Laguna Hills, The Orion’s chief copy editor, took third place in personal opinion column writing at the CCMA event.

The judge for the best overall design category wrote of the winning entry: “The mighty Orion is thoroughly impressive in size, paging, printing and design. The paper does everything right and exudes creativity, consistency and mastery of detail. (Story openings) and displays stand out against skillfully rendered secondary items, lists, pointers, cues and pop-outs. Typography is clear and balanced, with serif and sans serif faces co-existing happily. Printing is superb.”

Williams, The Orion’s top editor, in reflecting on the weekend’s awards, called journalism “a mostly thankless profession” and said that “creating a newspaper is one of the most challenging feats anyone can undertake.

“But after winning two ‘Best of Show’ awards nationally, and taking first place in the statewide ‘General Excellence’ and ‘Best Overall Design’ competitions, it all seems worth it,” Williams said. “I am so proud of everyone involved in this publication, from past to present, and I know The Orion legacy will be carried on, as long as our students continue to believe their efforts are worth it.”

Dave Waddell, The Orion’s faculty adviser and the newly elected board president of the California College Media Association, said it was impressive that several parents of Orion staffers from Southern California showed up to attend the awards ceremonies.

The Orion, a laboratory newspaper of CSU, Chico’s nationally accredited journalism department, has won dozens of national, regional and state awards. The Orion was inducted into the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 2005 for its record of achievement.