SALT LAKE CITY - For its news coverage of a Northwest College Board of Trustees meeting and unrelated recruitment efforts last year, as well as several hard-hitting and feature opinion pieces, staffers of the Northwest Trail received six awards this past Saturday from the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation's oldest and largest journalism organization.
Co-editors Mark Keierleber and Danae Lenz received first place certificates for their story on a closed board meeting last November, and for the body of their editorial writing. Copy editor Deborah Cobb placed first in general column writing for her 2010 pieces called "Rhetorical Ramblings." One column detailed her private experience of losing her mother suddenly during the school year. Cobb and the staff placed second for a story about targeted recruiting efforts and Reed Tobol placed third for his columns "Straight from the horse's mouth."
The newspaper placed second as Best All-Around Non-Daily at a community college. States represented at the Region IX SPJ Mark of Excellence awards, held April 8 and 9 at the University of Utah, included Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. The first place wins allow the staff's work to advance to the SPJ national conference and awards ceremony slated for late September in New Orleans.
During the conference and awards ceremony in Utah, students toured the picturesque offices of the Salt Lake Tribune, as well as an NBC television affiliate, a radio station, web operation and offices of the Deseret News. Sessions during the conference included information of the Freedom of Information Act, ethical dilemmas, new tech gadgets, blogging and finding jobs.
Students also met several professional members of SPJ, which represents more than 8,000 pro and student journalists across the country. The Trail is working to create NWC's first SPJ@NWC club, which will be a group of student SPJ members who conduct and participate in training, promote freedom of speech and press and provide networking and conference opportunities for students. There are currently six SPJ@NWC members.
For more information on SPJ, the Trail or journalism, contact adviser Holly J. Wolcott, 307-754-6444.