By CHELO GRUBB
Two issues ago, we announced that our paper was a finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2012 best all-around non-daily student newspaper at a large institution in our region.
The winners were announced April 13 at a conference in Las Vegas, and Aztec Press placed third.
Being a finalist, we knew going in that we had placed either first, second or third in our category for our region.
We got first place in our category in 2009 and second in 2011. However, this year being a finalist felt like a slightly bigger victory.
That’s because 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’s 57,000-enrollment figure placed us in the largest category. Competing with university level funding, training and opportunities makes the competition a little fiercer.
We’re very excited to have placed in the top three. Our SPJ region is made up of publications from Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and the Marina Islands—that’s a lot to compete with.
When SPJ eliminated the community college competition categories, the College Media Association responded by starting the Press Patriot Awards. The competition was open to community college publications nationally.
Aztec Press as a whole did not enter the competition. However, our stellar photo editor, Larry Gaurano, entered and placed second in portrait and breaking news photography and third in sports photography.
His award-winning photos can be seen online at AztecPressOnline.com.
We are so proud of the recognition we’ve received. Each year we work to maintain and improve the quality of the Aztec Press. That isn’t easy with a revolving door of student reporters and editors.
However, the Aztec Press and PCC journalism students would greatly benefit from attending more conferences, hearing more guest speakers and working collaboratively.
For those reasons, we’ve decided to start a journalism club. It’s open to anyone pursuing a future in journalism.
Those interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “journalism club.”
Thank you for your support!