CSU, Chico News

The Orion Wins 15 Awards at College Newspaper Convention

Date: 05-01-2012

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Glen Bleske
Department of Journalism

The Orion, California State University, Chico’s award-winning student newspaper, won 15 awards at the California College Media Association’s (CCMA) April Convention, including the General Excellence for a Weekly Newspaper award for 2011–2012. The CCMA is a statewide organization that works to develop communication leadership among media students and advisors and to recognize excellence in college journalism. A record 37 colleges and universities entered the competition with more than 100 entries.

“Once again The Orion shows that Chico State students are some of the best journalists and designers in California,” said Glen Bleske, interim advisor to the Orion (replacing Dave Waddell, who resigned after more than 15 years as the advisor). “Their commitment to the University and the newspaper amazes me. Their achievements should make us all proud.”

Prizes are awarded for three divisions—papers published daily, weekly and less than weekly—in more than 20 categories. The judges made this comment to support their choice of The Orion for the top award in general excellence:

“It is the Orion from Cal State Chico that gets our top nod for general excellence, delivering page after page of compelling news stories and imaginative features. Stories theoretically targeted to a university audience also appeal to a more general reader—it’s hard to go wrong with intelligence, smart humor and useful, accessible information. There are surprises—recipes, health stories, world news briefs and a thumbs-up, thumbs-down feature packed with genuine wit and college attitude—including kudos-worthy hard news such as an impressive analysis of university presidents’ salaries.

“The Orion’s visually appealing Daily Dose page is a welcome alternative to the ho-hum events calendar (it can actually compete with a picture of baby goats, which is saying something). More pages reveal adventures involving unisex bathrooms, beer-buying, and cheese, plus a delightful history of Chico’s obscure laws; add to that a well-designed sports section and creative feature work, and the takeaway is this: general excellence. In short, we wanted—rather, we were compelled—to keep reading.”

A list of the Division B awards The Orion garnered at the CCMA convention:

  1. General Excellence
  2. Best Overall Design (first place)
  3. Best Group Promotion—Coupon Clipper (second place)
  4. Best Group Promotion—Housing Guide (first place)
  5. Best Sales Promotion materials—Media Kit— Mark Rojas (second place)
  6. Best Online Ad—Author Promotion—Mark Rojas (second place)
  7. Best Online Promotion—Facebook Promotion—Mark Rojas (second place)
  8. Best News Series—Teresa de Luz, Kelly Ward, Jen Moreno, Kenny Lindberg, Ben Mullin, Andre Byik, Juniper Rose (third place)
  9. Best Feature Story—Hailey Vincent (second place)
  10. Best News Page Design— Liam Turner and Tercius Bufete (first place)
  11. Best Infographic—Esme Ramirez (first place)
  12. Best Features Page Design—Liam Turner and Lindsay Smith (first place)
  13. Best Cartoon—Devon McMindes (first place)
  14. Best Sports Column—Allie Colosky (second place)
  15. Best Podcast—Ashley Nakano (third place)

The Orion offers students the opportunity to improve newsgathering, editing and management skills, while experiencing a fully operational newspaper. The weekly paper is perhaps the most honored college newspaper in the country. It was named to the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame in 2005 for being a winner of or finalist for the coveted Pacemaker Award some 22 times since 1988. The Orion continues to win numerous national and regional awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award and the National Newspaper Association General Excellence Award.