The staff of The Murray State News, student
run newspaper, took a recent trip to Louisville. Not to cover a breaking news story, they were
attending the annual Kentucky Press Association newspaper competition where their paper and
its writers won several awards. Working tirelessly behind the scenes of Murray State’s weekly
newspaper publication are the staff writers and editors of The Murray State News.
Comprised mostly of students in the department of Journalism and Mass Communication, staff
members spend their week making phone calls, interviewing sources, taking pictures, selling
advertisement space and writing content for The Murray State News on top of their regular
classes and other extracurricular activities. Their hard work was rewarded at the KPA newspaper
competition in January where The Murray State News took home the 3rd place award for best
overall paper in the organization’s collegiate division.
Individual writers took home a total of three 1st place awards, seven 2nd place awards and
six third place awards along with several honorable mentions.
It’s really great because a lot of what went into that third place general excellence
award is just a column here and a story there and a few photos put together in a package
and it just really highlights the kind of teamwork that we do here. And how much everybody
gives to it. So for everybody to collectively be celebrated and to be told that hey you
do, you rank, you deserve an award. To be told that what you’re giving is worth something
of value is really inspiring. Every Wednesday, the Editorial Board, made
up of the editors of each of the papers four sections: News, Sports, Features and Opinion,
along with the assistant editors, meet in the newsroom to design that week’s paper.
First, stories are edited by the copy editors who make sure all stories comply with the
Associated Press Stylebook and have no spelling or grammatical errors. The stories are then
handed over to the section and assistant editors who choose where the stories go and design
the actual pages of the newspaper. After everything has been scrutinized by the
editor-in-chief, the layout of the paper is sent to The Murray Ledger and Times, Murray’s
professional daily newspaper, who print and distribute the newspaper around campus on
Friday. My theory is if I can help a student get an
award that has his or her name on it, it goes on their resume, it helps them be recognized,
it helps them be more marketable. Awards are meaningful. It recognizes their achievements.
The university then recognizes that we are producing good students who are stacking up
well against their peers. It makes me feel very proud of the work that the students do.
Every year when we enter the contest you never know what we’re going to up against. Competition
is very keen. Western, UK and Murray: those are great programs, big programs, we hold
our own with those universities and that makes me proud of what we’re doing and that our
students are accomplishing great work and they should be honored for that and recognized.
So we’re very happy that in those kinds of contests that they do very well. They’re
in display cases and they’re in cabinets and we’re kind of running out of room for
awards, but that’s a good problem to have.