Tribune staff prepares for state, regional, and national competition



(L-R) Brionna McCall, University News Editor, Anthoni Wardlaw, Managing Editor, Darian Howell, Lead A& E Reporter, Kendal Manns, Sports Editor, Khalil Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor, Juana Blackwell University News Reporter and Tammia Jacobs, Lifestyles Editor.

Brionna McCall, University News Editor

Thousands of college students compete at journalism conventions every year, winning regional, state, and national awards. This year, The Hornet Tribune staff is added to that number as they will compete in everything from broadcast, photography, and design to news, sports, feature, and review writing.
According to Micah Sanders, editor-in-chief of The Hornet Tribune, the staff will compete in three major competitions: Southeast Journalism Conference “Best of the South” (regional), Alabama Press Association Media Awards (state), and the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Awards (national).
In 2019, under the leadership of Nefsa’Hyatt Brown, the staff won two Best of the South awards. However, Sanders hopes that the staff realizes that they are winners no matter what the results of the competitions reveal.
“I am so exuberant and jubilant to enter these competitions,” he said. “It is a time for my staff to be finally recognized for all of their tireless workdays, willing commitment, and loyal dedication to providing a voice to the ASU student body and its surrounding community since that is what journalism is all about. While winning does not determine our worth as student journalists, I hope these conferences motivate us to keep striving for excellence and continuous improvement in everything that we do for The Hornet Tribune. In my eyes, we have already won, and these awards will just provide an extra sparkle to an already amazing staff.”
Kenneth A. Dean, J.D., general manager of The Hornet Tribune, said the purpose of competing is simple.
“We need to see where we stack up in this business of media,” Dean said. “Media is the most powerful force in the world, and we are creating the next generation of media leaders. Therefore, they need to see how they compare to their counterparts who are doing the same thing every week. That is why we are competing at three different levels.”
Dean said the staff would be competing at the regional competition first. The Southeast Journalism Conference comprises more than 35 member colleges and universities across the southeast, including Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Louisiana. There are 29 categories total for the awards, from best news editor to best website.
In March, the staff will compete in the Alabama Press Association Media Awards. The Alabama Press Association is the state trade association consisting of daily and weekly Alabama newspapers. There are 37 general categories and eight special categories in the editorial part of the competition.
In June, the staff will compete in the Associated Collegiate Press Pacemaker Awards. The Pacemaker Awards is a national competition that presents outstanding journalism awards every year. There are different categories in the competition for the different types of media organizations such as magazine, online, broadcast, newspaper, and yearbooks. The judgment of the entries is based upon coverage, content, leadership, quality, design, graphics, and photography.
There are nine categories for the pacemaker individual awards, which include the story of the year, reporter of the year, the multimedia story of the year, design of the year, photo of the year, the cartoon of the year, advertisement of the year, best use of social media, and COVID-19 coverage.
“The reason why I would like to see them compete in all three of these competitions is to give the staff a feeling of where we are journalistically,” noted Dean. “It exposes the staff to great opportunities like seminars and people they can network with to be able to get a job when they are ready.”
According to Dean, the students need to be aware of these competitions because they need to know where their newspaper ranks. “Our students work hard, and since our students don’t do a lot of reading, they don’t know how hard they work,” Dean said. “One of the best ways to make sure they know how hard they work is for us to compete and win.”
Kendal Manns, the sports editor of The Hornet Tribune, believes the staff is up for the challenge when it comes to the competitions. “Competition is always good,” Manns said. “I believe the competitions give us a chance to see where we stand with other students at other schools. It’s a change of pace from us just pushing out stories, and it helps us see where we can improve.”