default article image

The Outlook Wins Society of Professional Journalists Award

default article imageThe Outlook won The Best Overall Newspaper (non-daily publication) in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Excellence in Journalism Competition as the newspaper that best represents its community.

The SPJ Keystone Pro Chapter’s Spotlight is an annual contest that has 19 other categories including Editorial Writing, Broadsheet Page Design, Feature Story, Headline, Online Breaking News, Sports Reporting, and News Photography. The most recent contest covered stories and photos published between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017 with the purpose of stimulating high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism.

According to the SPJ official website, “[The contest] is not based on circulation but on quality of the profession and what it stands for, is open to all journalists from Pennsylvania and New Jersey whose work appeared in a publication in one of these two states.”

“The idea of blending the SPJ NJ and PA contests was a trial this year, but it was so successful we most likely will do it again,” said Pat Trosky, President of the Keystone Pro Chapter of SPJ. She also stated that the Oklahoma Chapter of SPJ determined the winners of the NJ and PA region. 

“We hope that awards help young journalists realize journalists of any age and experience can produce great work,” said Christine Cordial, Program Coordinator of SPJ. “We hope it gets them in the habit of submitting [to] awards in their professional careers so that their talent can be recognized as their body of work develop. Our awards program is just one of the ways we seek to equip young journalists with the tools needed to make a name for themselves as professionals.”

“As faculty advisor to the paper, the award is a rewarding recognition of what the students try to achieve every week,” said John Morano, Faculty Advisor and Professor of Journalism. “For independent professional journalists who represent the highest industry standards and ethics to find that we served our `community’ better than any other paper in the competition…I believe is an incredible honor.”

The non-daily publications include weekly, semi-weekly, and monthly newspapers, magazines and online publications, according to the SPJ. Due to confidentiality obligations, Pat Trosky was unable to provide the other collegiate publications which The Outlook was up against.

“It’s really nice to see the culmination of all of our hard work and passion being recognized in this way,” said Courtney Buell, alumnus from the graduating class of 2018 and former Editor-in-Chief. “It would not have been possible without the effort and care taken by each and every staff member, our graduate assistants, and our advisor [Morano] in making this paper the best it can be and I’m really grateful.”

“Moving forward, I just want to continue the hard work that previous editors have done,” said Zach Cosenza, the current Editor-in-Chief. “Courtney taught me so much and I hope I can continue her hard work and pass it along to the next Editor-in-Chief. Every week we have to balance school work and The Outlook. It is hard to manage but every week we make it work… We all do a great job and the results show.”

“[The award] solidifies that we have an outstanding journalism program,” said Aaron Furguson, Ph.D., the Chair of the Communication Department. “As a former Outlook writer and Assistant Editor, I know how hard it is to put together a weekly newspaper. You find difficult issues and cover them objectively.”

The Outlook has a very strong record of winning national and regional competitions. Our students have consistently produced an extremely high-quality publication,” Morano said.  “The mantra at The Outlook is `be fair and tell the truth’. We all take that very seriously, and accolades like this one from SPJ validate our commitment to those standards.”

1). 2017 SPJ Best Newspaper Overall

2). 2013 – 2014 ASPA Most Outstanding Newspaper

3). 2012 – 2013 ASPA Most Oustanding Newspaper

4). 2012 – 2013 ACP – Top 10 Nationally

5). 2009 – 2010 ASPA Most Outstanding Newspaper