Outlook Wins ASPA “Most Outstanding Newspaper of 2013”

The Outlook, Monmouth University’s student-run newspaper, in a national competition, has been awarded “Most Outstanding Newspaper,” in addition to first place with special merit, by the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) for the second time in the past four years.

The ASPA holds an annual competition for university newspapers, as well as contests for other publications. Papers are judged on content coverage, page design, general plan, art, advertising, editing and creativity. The Outlook scored a total of 955 out of 1,000 points, with perfect scores in content coverage, illustration, and creativity. One judge wrote, “You have an excellent school newspaper, which shows the creativity and journalistic knowledge of your editors, reporters, writers, photographers, layout/graphics designers, and adviser.”

“We try not to be satisfied with `good enough,’” Morano said. “It’s an honor to work with the students at the paper. I’m their biggest fan, and their biggest critic,” he said.

University President Paul G. Gaffney II, an avid reader of the paper is proud of the students’ achievement. “It (the award) sets us apart as a serious paper that looks like a real paper and seriously covers news like a real paper,” Gaffney said. “It is hard to have the time, as full-time students, to thoroughly research complicated issues. Yet,The Outlooktakes on the challenge.” Gaffney said he likes to read the editorials and the sports articles, he said he is a fan of student achievement articles. “I like seeingThe Outlookaround campus, especially when we are trying to recruit new students,” said Gaffney. “[It’s a] great example of student involvement and success.”

“It’s a bit of an unreal feeling. I never really expected as a freshman entering the newsroom, that I would end up editing the paper and we would gain national recognition ,” said Brett Bodner, Editor-in-Chief.

Previously, Bodner served as the Managing Editor for two years under Gina Columbus, now a reporter with The Asbury Park Press, and took over the position as Editor-in-Chief after she graduated. “I learned a lot [from previous EIC’s],” he said. “I learned what to do and what not to do.” Bodner said he has come a long way during his year as Editor-in- Chief. He said he felt adequately prepared at the beginning of his term when it came to layout, copyediting and page design, but had to deal with some obstacles along the way.

One problem he had to overcome was learning how to manage 12 editors and their writers and how to treat his friends as staff members. “It’s managing your friendships while getting work done at the same time. It was a big challenge for me,” he said. “But the perks of having your friends on staff are that they will do whatever they can to help you because there is a personal connection. And you, in return, would do the same because you care about them.”

Bodner is proud of the achievement, but credits others for their help. “I couldn’t have done this without my staff,” he said. “I have a really good staff that has backed me for my entire term.” Bodner has served one year as Editor-in- Chief and is set to graduate in May.

Taking over the position is junior Jacklyn Kouefati, who was Managing Editor this past year. “I’d like to keep up with the success Brett has achieved and hopefully win the ASPA award again,” she said.

“Great students in a good environment will do wonderful things,” said Morano. “A very skilled office manager, experienced graduate assistants, faculty and administration who make themselves available as sources and so many others all contribute to the paper’s efforts.”