By Luciana Loureiro
When it comes to applauding student newspapers in Utah, The Daily Universe takes center stage.
Receiving six first-place awards, three second-places and two third-places, the 18,500-circulation BYU student newspaper dominated other small dailies in the annual Utah Press Association contest, which awards local newspapers for excellence in news coverage and advertising.
“We take an awful lot of heat from people that say we are not a good paper, that we”re just a student rag, but I”ve seen what is out there in the United States and there are very few student newspapers that can compare to The Daily Universe,” said Kaylene Armstrong, editorial lab manager for the paper.
The contest was for the 2005 calendar year, Armstrong said.
“This contest you only get to enter one entry per category,” she said. “You have to decide the very best feature story.”
In news coverage, The Daily Universe was awarded first place in the Best News or Feature Series Category and second places in the Best General News Story and Best Special Section categories.
The Universe was also awarded first place for Best Editorial.
Nathan Moulton, the opinion editor for The Daily Universe since fall of 2005, said winning first place for the best editorial was a medium to expose his hard work.
“I”ve been trying to do a good job,” he said. “It”s nice to be able to receive some recognition for some good writing and editorial.”
In the advertising category, The Daily Universe was awarded both first and second place for Best Run of Press Ad and also first place in the Best In-House Promotion and Best Circulation Promotion categories.
“We have a unique situation here,” Armstrong said. “We swept advertising, [which] is well-known nationally too.”
The Daily Universe was also recognized in the design arena, winning first place for Best Web Site Design and third places for Best Sports Page and Best Front Page.
The competition was not only among student newspapers but also among professional newspapers, Armstrong said.
“We competed against The Daily Utah Chronicle, the newspaper of the University of Utah,” Armstrong said, “as well as the larger weekly newspapers such as Park City Record, Tooele Transcript Bulletin and Davis County Clipper.”
Armstrong said she was pleased with the recognition The Daily Universe garnered.
“The Daily Universe is a good little paper,” she said. “It just proves it when we win awards against professionals.”
Robb Hicken, the managing director of The Daily Universe, said these awards are a good reflection of not only the communication department but also of BYU.
“It is impressive, the caliber of students who work for The Daily Universe,” he said. “Each of these students participates well beyond the required number of hours.”
Along with Hicken, Armstrong said the result is a consequence of the good work of BYU students.
“Students work really hard and this just is a way to reward the work they do,” she said.