BYU’s ‘Universe’ continues to win awards

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The most recent in a string of awards recognizing The Universe, BYU’s newspaper, comes from the Student Society of News Design, which gave top honors in its College News Design Contest to BYU for The Universe’s breaking news coverage.

The winning entry was the Oct. 9 special section covering The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ announcement, by President Thomas S. Monson, lowering the age young Church members would be eligible for missionary service. Effects of that announcement continue to be the most significant news item The Universe features as it examines the campus effects of the announcement.

The Universe won an award for breaking news
The Universe won an award for breaking news concerning the mission age change. (Universe photo)

The 25th annual competition is hosted at The University of Missouri, home of one of the nation’s premier journalism schools. Judges also gave The Universe an honorable mention in its best designed student newspaper category. The contest is co-sponsored by the Society of Newspaper Design.

“The winning entry was a coordinated online and print effort with the winning print section featuring outstanding reporting and photography and drawing from social media reaction to the announcement,” said Universe Director Steve Fidel. “This kind of story could be seen as inside baseball to judges outside Mormon culture. The fact that it received top breaking news recognition shows that students producing this special section effectively communicated the scope and impact of the Church’s announcement.”

Work on the winning section included design team members James Gardner, Jenn Cardenas, Brad Davis, Rebekah Harris, Lauren Prochelo, Brett Bertola and David Bowman, with photography by Sara Hill. Editors coordinating content include Universe editor Rebecca Lane and Universe metro editors Kurt Hanson and Robin Rogers.

The award follows the Saturday announcement that The Universe swept the in-depth reporting category and was first in general news reporting in The Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Competition.

Awards were presented Saturday at the Society of Professional Journalists’ Region 9 spring conference in Santa Fe, N.M. The region includes Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. The Mark of Excellence Awards honors the best in collegiate journalism and is judged at both the regional and national level. With each region, newspapers compete against similarly sized publications. The Universe competed in the large newspaper category.

Here is a complete list of awards in that competition:

Breaking News Reporting
First Place: “Family, friends, mourn loss of Powell children” by The Universe staff
Third Place: “Students react to missionary age change” by Crystal Myler, Sara Michael & Shawn Fielding

General News Reporting
First Place: “Life elevated” by Krista Roy
Third Place: “Utah’s democracy vacation” by Charles Beacham

In-Depth Reporting
First Place: “Fraud” by Kristian Ekenes, Stacie Carnley, Rebecca Lane & Kari Merril
Second Place: “The real price of tanning” by Meredith Francom & Megan Stauffer
Third Place: “Technologically impaired, or enlightened?” by David Lake & Robin Rodgers

Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper
Second Place: The Universe

Photo Illustration
First Place: “The ominous quest for a thousand yards” by Brad Davis
Second Place: “Adventures of the ride board” by Sarah Hill

Also on Tuesday, Universe reporter Trent Christiansen was named as one of seven college journalists selected to the second-annual Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Reporter All-American Team.

The Off the Block Men’s Volleyball Reporter All-American Team recognizes the nation’s top men’s volleyball reporters from student college media outlets during the college men’s volleyball regular season.

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