FROM THE EDITOR: Aztec Press ‘best all-around’ finalist

By CHELO GRUBB

It’s award season in the collegiate journalism world.

The Aztec Press is competing for 2012’s best all-around non-daily student newspaper at a large institution in our region.

Being a finalist means we have won either first, second or third place in the Society of Professional Journalists’ prestigious Mark of Excellence category.

The placing won’t be revealed until April 13, when the winners will be announced at an awards luncheon at the SPJ regional conference in Las Vegas.

We’ve won an award in the same category for the past three years … well, almost. Until now, we were only competing against other two-year colleges.

This year, SPJ eliminated the two-year college category. Four-year universities and two-year colleges now compete head-to-head, with categories (small, medium or large) decided by the size of student enrollment.

Pima Community College has almost 57,000 credit students enrolled, so we fit into the large category.

That means our sparsely staffed newspaper is competing with the largest non-daily college newspapers in a region that includes Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and the Mariana Islands.

If (fingers crossed!) Aztec Press wins first place at the regional level, we’ll advance to compete against other first-place regional winners from around the country.

Aztec Press has done all right in SPJ competition over the last few years.

Photo Editor Larry Gaurano has twice advanced to the national competition for sports photography after winning first-place awards at the regional level. He was named a national finalist in 2010.

The entire student newspaper staff was a 2009 national finalist for all-around general excellence.

Here’s hoping we get another shot at showing off nationally.

Thanks for picking up a copy of the Aztec Press. Each member of our staff works tirelessly to make our newspaper the best it can be.

Apparently, someone thinks our hard work is worth something. We hope you do, too.

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