The Gramblinite staff came up big once again at the Region 12 Society of Professional Journalist Annual Conference winning several awards.
The annual conference was held at The University of Memphis in Memphis, Tenn. The conference took place Friday March 31- Sunday April 2.
The Mark of Excellence Awards are given every year to the best student journalist and newspapers in 21 categories. The G-Nite won 11 individual awards and First Place for Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper in Region 12.
Among those individual awards were First Place for Editorial Cartooning by Joshua Morgan, First and Second Place for General Column Writing by Marisa Darby-Turner and Darryl D. Smith, First Place for General News Reporting by Michael Grant, First and Third Place for General News Photography by Kimberly Whitfield and Reggie Reed, Second Place for Feature Photography Kimberly Whitfield, Second and Third Place for Photo Illustration both by Michael Grant, and First and Third for Sports Photography both by Darryl D. Smith.
First place regional winners will advance to the national round of judging which takes place in early April. Winners will be announced in mid May.
This conference was not all about awards, there were many seminars as well. Some of them included two on Hurricane Katrina, which took an interesting look at the aftermath of Katrina from the eyes of Media Professionals and students and their advisor who traveled to New Orleans to make a documentary after becoming discouraged with the media coverage. The were also seminars about the challenges of getting important documents needed for stories, professionals talked about their headache and constant court battles to acquire important documents as they pertain to what they were reporting.
The Keynote speaker was the very cleaver Chris Peck. Peck loosened up those in attendance by telling a joke. In the joke he explained that he and his wife were driving and he noticed some cows, he then told her that he saw some of her family, she then replied by saying they were in-laws.
He talked about the three things journalist need to be concerned with, those things included advertising, the gathering of wireless information, and new innovative journalism.
The conference ended with several roundtable discussions. The roundtable format was similar to that of speed dating. Attendees began at one table and moved from topic to topic every thirty minutes.
The SPJ national conference will be in Chicago in August.