Gramblinite named best newspaper by professional journalism group Staff report The Gramblinite, the student newspaper at Grambling State University, was named the best nondaily student newspaper Saturday afternoon at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 12 Conference in New Orleans.
The Gramblinite picked up three other Mark of Excellence awards at the conference — Gourjoine Wade won first place in General Column Writing, Mark Stringfellow placed second in Sports Writing and Wendell Graves received honorable mention in the Sports Column Writing category.
Stringfellow, who served as editor-in-chief during the spring and fall semesters last year, said, "It’s very encouraging to see our hard work pay off and for someone to recognize the countless hours we put in in the newsroom.
"This revs your engine for another semester," Stringfellow said. "It makes you want to work that much harder next semester for other accolades such as this."
Stringfellow is a senior from Ruston.
The first place Mark of Excellence winners are now entered in the national contest to compete against other regional winners. SPJ Region 12 is composed of professional and student chapters in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee. The Region 12 conference was hosted by the Loyola University Chapter. The Mark of Excellence winnings added to The Gramblinite’s other awards for work done during 2004.
At the Southeast Journalism Conference convention, held last month at Louisiana Tech, the newspaper and its staff received nine overall Top 10 Best of the South awards, including ninth rank in the Best Newspaper category and the eighth rank for Stringfellow as College Journalist of the Year.
At the national HBCU Newspaper Conference and Job Fair, hosted by Southern University last month in Baton Rouge, The Gramblinite won the Best Weekly HBCU Newspaper award.
"While The Gramblinite may have some problem areas here and there, the things we do, we do very well," said Wanda Peters, adviser to the newspaper. "But what we’re all about is training future journalists and ensuring that students at Grambling can compete with students from anywhere.
"These awards merely reinforce that we are among the top journalism programs in the country," Peters said.
"This is a testament to the hard work students put in and the excellent guidance the faculty and staff provide for the students," said Dr. Rama Tunuguntla, head of the Department of Mass Communication.
"I am proud that the student editors and the newspaper won a series of awards this year. These awards are indicative of the training we provide for the student stand the quality of the newspaper they produce," he said.
GSU’s Department of Mass Communication has been accredited since 1993 by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. Only 104 of the more than 400 journalism/mass communication programs in the nation are nationally accredited, and among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, only seven of more than 40 programs have that distinction.