By Kyle Nguyen
The National Newspaper Association announced the winners for the 2011 Better Newspaper Contest earlier this month and The Daily Universe won first place in general excellence.
The Better Newspaper Contest is the annual competition the NNA holds for the national journalism community. Newspapers across the country send entries to the NNA to compete in many categories.The Daily Universe won first place for general excellence in the college division.
“The Daily Universe won 18 awards in the National Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest this year,” said Kaye Nelson, editorial lab manager at The Daily Universe. “And in June we only knew we were in the top three for general excellence.”
The Daily Universe also won first place in the same category in 2008 and 2010 . The reporters for The Daily Universe are from the news reporting classes in the Communications Department. Nelson said everyone from professors to student editors and student reporters have a role in The Daily Universe.
“We compete against other campus papers but also small town and large metropolitan papers in other contests,” Nelson said. “And we do very well.”
The result of this contest reflects the hard work of The Daily Universe staff.
“These awards highlight the efforts of the students who write, design and shoot photos for The Daily Universe,” Nelson said.
The Daily Universe is a required lab for some communications students to help them gain experience.
“It’s a tough class,” Nelson said. “But students are getting a real world experience so they are ready to work in the real world when they leave.”
Ann Packard, a student reporter, won one of the 18 awards in the contest.
“I love being in and working with The Daily Universe,” she said.
She said one of the challenges she faced while working for The Daily Universe was the time constraint.
“In fact, we did have deadlines,” Packard said. “We had to produce stories by a certain time.”
Another award winner, Amanda Verzello, said the experience she had with The Daily Universe as a student reporter was worth the time. Moreover, she said her experience was good preparation for her internship with the Deseret News.
“Working through the learning curve at The Daily Universe has prepared me in moving forward without a handicap,” Packard said in an email. “That is valuable.”