ELLISVILLE – Every journalist dreams of having their story being picked up by the Associated Press Newswire. Ironically, some journalism students at Jones College discovered the national press-wire featured their newspaper, the Radionian after it earned a national award. The college’s student newspaper advisor, Kelly Atwood said she’s very proud of her students for accomplishing what seemed to be an impossible honor to attain, especially since this was the first year to enter the newspaper in the national competition.
“We’ve attended the conference for a couple of years to make contacts, tour companies and bring back ideas, but this year I decided to enter our newspaper in their competition. It was a pleasant surprise to find out we won, and now I honestly wish I’d been entering since we began attending. I have some talented students who deserve recognition. It takes all the staff members and editors working as a team to accomplish something like this. I’m very proud of them,” said Atwood.
Only part of the team of budding journalists attended the Spring National College Media Convention in New York. They had departed for Mississippi when they learned they won the David L. Adams Apple Award.
“It was the first time we entered this national competition and I didn’t expect to win!” said Atwood. “We didn’t stay for the awards ceremony so we could catch an early flight home.”
The Jones newspaper was entered in the best of show contest for two-year colleges which competed against institutions like the Spokane Falls Community College which earned second place and third place winner, Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. A total of 150 two-year colleges and universities were present for the New York conference and awards, such as California State University, Columbia University, Georgia State University, Manchester Community College, Miami Dade College, Missouri Western State University, Mt. San Antonio College, Northwest Arkansas Community College, Pepperdine University, Rutgers University and Westchester Community College. The convention offered more than 250 sessions, special events and activities for students and advisors in print, online and broadcast. Also offered were tours to places such as Bloomberg, Democracy Now, Good Morning America, Fox News, Sirius XM, Vice and Yahoo Finance.
“Attending this conference is an incredible learning experience for students. Being in New York is a unique opportunity to tour places like magazine headquarters for ‘Marie Claire’ and Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, ‘O’ which are part of Hearst Magazines, as well as news agencies. The students were given the chance to ask magazine editors from different departments, questions about the company which publishes 25 U.S. magazines and 300 international publications. Hearst Magazines is also part of Hearst Communications, which is located in the Hearst Tower in Midtown, Manhattan. Not only were students impressed by the publications, but they were also awestruck by the building itself. The wallpaper was made of linen and the art on the walls were from museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art,” said Atwood.
At the state level, the student news publication has won twelve, consecutive years as the top two-year college newspaper. The Radionian received 27 total awards and the first place General Excellence Award for two-year colleges at the O. C. McDavid Journalism Conference and the 2018-2019 Better Newspaper Contest, Student Division, of the Mississippi Press Association. Jones students earned eight, first-place awards. The Radionian also swept several categories, winning first, second and third place for General News Story, Feature Photo, General Interest Column, and in the Investigative Package categories.