Elon School of Communications hosts regional journalism conference
The Society of Professional Journalists Region 2 gathering featured the Mark of Excellence Awards results, of which several Elon students were winners.
Elon University’s School of Communications and its student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists hosted the SPJ Region 2 conference April 7-8 in Dwight C. Schar Hall. The conference featured an opening panel titled “Fake News, Media Literacy & Fact Checking,” several breakout sessions focused on a wide array of journalism topics, and a keynote address from Assistant Professor of Communications Ahmed Fadaam.
The gathering also honored winners and finalists in the regional Mark of Excellence Awards competition. Submissions were entered from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C., all of which comprise SPJ’s Region 2. Among the winners were “Elon Local News” for Best All-Around Student Newscast and nine Elon students in individual categories.
Below is the full list of Elon winners and finalists:
- “Elon Local News” was named the regional winner for Best All-Around Student Newscast. The winning show was broadcast Oct. 31, 2016, and produced by Erik Webb ’19, Elizabeth Bilka ’18, Daniel MacLaury ’17 and Ashley Bohle ’17. The finalist was an “ELN Morning” show aired Nov. 10, 2016, and produced by Audrey Engelman ’17 and MacLaury.
- Stephanie Hays ’18 was named the regional winner for Photo Illustration (Small School Division—defined as 9,999 students or fewer) for “Phoenix in a Haze.”
- Diego Pineda ’19 was named the regional winner for General News Photography (Small) for “As of Wednesday morning, US President, NC Governor unclear.”
- Alex Simon ’17 and Tommy Hamzik ’17 were named the regional winners for General News Reporting (Small) for “Strength, energy defined Dennion on, off field.”
- Jane Seidel ’17 was named the regional winner for General Column Writing (Small) for three of her columns, “The importance of civil discourse and putting bias in my pocket,” “Visual transcripts are not a full indicator of the Elon experience” and “Enough with white men behind lecterns.”
- Meredith Stutz ’16 and Michael Bodley ’16 were named the regional winners for Online Feature Reporting for “Irish Catholic Church Caught between Tradition and Modernity.”
- Hali Tauxe was named the regional winner for Feature Photography (Small) for “Quintana descends a ladder.”
- Simon was named the regional winner and a regional finalist for Sports Writing (Small) for “How Elon hosted a USA-USSR women’s basketball game during the middle of the Cold War” and a finalist for “LGBTQIA athletes find match at Elon.”
- Andrew Feather ’17 was named the regional winner for Sports Photography (Small) for a photo of a Burlington Royals player during a playoff game.
- Cassidy Levy ’17 was named a regional finalist for General Column Writing (Small) for three of her columns, “Recognize Christian privilege,” “Saying ‘you matter’ is not enough—you have to show it, too” and “Let’s talk about email signatures.”
- Paige Pauroso ’17, Feather, Kailey Tracy ’17 and Engelman were named regional finalists for Television Breaking News Reporting for protest coverage in uptown Charlotte.
- Pauroso was named a regional finalist for Television General News Reporting for phone scams targeting Elon students.
- AJ Mandell ’20 was named a regional finalist for Feature Photography (Small) for “Matt and Kim Fall Concert.”
- Jack Hartmann ’19 was named a regional finalist for Feature Photography (Small) for “Kim Schifino crowdsurfs.”
- Jordan Spritzer ’16 was named a regional finalist for Sports Writing (Small) for “Kicking it in San Antonio.”
- Emmanuel Morgan ’19 was named a regional finalist for In-Depth Reporting (Small) for “Caught between fear and misunderstanding, Elon community addresses divisiveness after Election Day.”
- Simon was named a regional finalist for Sports Column Writing for three of his columns, “2nd CAA win leaves no doubt: women’s track & field best program at Elon,” “Football suffers ‘humiliating’ defeat” and “Football needs improved results in 2017.”
This year’s conference was organized by Colin Donohue, director of student media and instructor in the School of Communications, and Anthony Hatcher, associate professor of communications. Students Jackie Pascale ’18, Hamzik, Pauroso, Simon, Tracy, Hays, Rachel Ellis ’19 and Avik Bhargave ’19 also helped with conference planning. (View the agenda.)
In addition to Fadaam’s keynote address, Hatcher moderated the opening panel, Communications Dean Paul Parsons offered the official Elon welcome, and Jonathan Jones, instructor in communications and director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition, co-led a session titled “Requesting Public Records: Tips and Issues.”
This is the second time the SPJ Region 2 conference has come to Elon. The first time was in 2012, when Elon also hosted.
ABOUT THE SPJ MARK OF EXCELLENCE AWARDS
SPJ Region 2 Mark of Excellence Awards are given in newspaper, TV, radio and online categories. Awards are given only to those who place in the top three in the region. Regional winners move on to the national competition, at which time they will compete with 11 other first-place regional winners.
Last year, SPJ named alumnus Al Drago ’15 the national winner in the General News Photography (Small) and Sports Photography competitions (Small). Also earning national wins were Simon for Sports Writing and Leena Dahal ’17 for General Column Writing.