Tennessee State University Student Newspaper Honored at HBCU Conference
Tennessee State University’s campus newspaper, The Meter, has been honored as the best weekly student newspaper at the HBCU National Newspaper Conference Excellence in Journalism Awards. The Meter also earned seven other awards, including best online coverage.
In what one contest judge called “a fine job of newspapering,” the TSU student newspaper staff won first place for their recent in-depth coverage of the selection of the university’s new president, Dr. Melvin N. Johnson.
“There was no contest here,” said contest judge Joe Demma, investigations editor at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “This newspaper took a major event and covered it top to bottom and from all sides. This is a newspaper staff that understands the value of the First Amendment and the right of the people to know what’s affecting them.”
The Meter won second place honors for its in-depth coverage of the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the TSU community, overall paper design and its opinion section. The paper also earned an honorable mention for an editorial questioning several university policies.
Meter editor Eddie R. Cole Jr. won second place for an opinion piece accusing administrators of being less than forthcoming with information about their decisions affecting the school. In it he noted that his internships and other professional experiences so far have permitted him to interview national leaders who answer his questions so he can provide accurate information to the public.
“Meter staff members screamed for joy when we won best newspaper,” says Cole. “They were so emotional, and so was I, because we work so hard to bring the TSU community the best news and information we can.”
TSU’s Tennessean was also entered into the contest, earning an honorable mention for its design.
“We got to see really great photography and documentary work, learn about magazine journalism and revisit copyright law, all of which helps our yearbook,” says 2006 Tennessean editor Marian C. Bullard. “We also got to network with professionals and share ideas with our peers, so it’s invaluable that one of my staff members and I were able to go.”
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