The American Scholastic Press Association has named The Guilfordian the Most Outstanding College Newspaper of 2015-16.
The Guilfordian “shows the creativity and journalistic knowledge of your editors, reporters, writers, photographers, layout/graphics designer and advisor,” the judges wrote. They awarded the student-operated weekly newspaper the highest possible scores in the categories of page design, art/advertising/illustrations, and creativity.
See the full list of honorees on the ASPA website.
This year’s Guilfordian staff showed a remarkable commitment to excellence and improvement, said Dana Professor of English Jeff Jeske, the paper’s faculty advisor for the past 30 years.
“We owe a lot of our success to Jeff’s guidance,” said Allison DeBusk ’16, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for 2015-16. “He gives the staff a lot of freedom, but he is always there to step in if someone needs his help.
“We also owe our success to an extremely dedicated staff. The Guilfordian is a community and a family. We are all willing to come together and work our hardest to produce the best content that we can. There are so many members of our staff who are willing to do work outside their normal responsibilities to ensure that we can succeed as a group. If the organization wasn’t so tight knit, I don’t think we would be able to achieve the same level of excellence.”
Among that dedicated staff is Layout Editor Michaela Beggins ’16, who redesigned the newspaper to improve readability and to provide a more cohesive, professional look. Michaela won first place for page design in the North Carolina College Media Association competition.
The newspaper’s Editorial Board too deserves credit for the ASPA prize, according to Allison.
“The Editorial Board this year has been incredible,” she said. “As a group, we tried to cultivate an environment of respect for one another. I think that because the leaders of the newspaper had that attitude, everyone else in the organization felt respected and in turn respected each other. We discussed a lot of ethical questions this year and did so in a respectful and productive manner.
“Since we are dedicated to social justice, diversity and under-reported stories, it is really important for us to have conversations about what that means. We were able to talk about that this year in a respectful way that allowed everyone to be heard and allowed us to unite as a group. I think that is why we were so successful this year.”
Established in 1914, The Guilfordian publishes its print edition Fridays during the fall and spring semesters. It did not compete in contests prior to 2005 but has earned numerous awards since then. It previously received ASPA’s top honor for a college newspaper in 2008-09 and 2013-14.