Trinity University's Student Newspaper Wins National Awards

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May 17, 2013

Trinity University's Student Newspaper Wins National Awards

The Trinitonian recognized for excellence in website, overall publication, column writing, reporting, photography, cartooning

Trinitonian Students With Mayor Castro
Mayor Julian Castro joins Trinitonian staffers as they receive awards. The students, from left, are incoming News Editor Chris Soto, Editor-in-Chief Tommie Ethington, Web Editor Matt Kafoury, Managing Editor Megan Julian, Castro, outgoing News Editor Faith Ozer, and photographer Anh-Viet Dinh.

By Susie P. Gonzalez

SAN ANTONIO - Trinity University's student-edited newspaper, the Trinitonian, has earned two national awards and five regional awards for excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Mark of Excellence Awards recognize collegiate work published during 2012 and honor the best in student journalism. The Trinitonian, entered in the small school division (those with fewer than 5,000 students), won first place in the category of Best Affiliated Website.  In addition, student Ben Conway was named a national finalist in the category of Columnist, General Column Writing.

The paper also captured regional awards in the small school division:

 - Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper

    Third Place: Trinitonian

  - In-Depth Reporting
    First Place: "Greek organizations under scrutiny" by Rachel Puckett, Aly Mithani, and Faith Ozer

  - General Column Writing

     First Place: Ben Conway

  - Sports Photography

     First Place: "Defensive Back Von Darrick Jones" by Anh-Viet Dinh

  - Editorial Cartooning
      First Place: "Trinitimes" by Sarah Fulton

Trinitonian TrioOutgoing editor-in-chief Tommie Ethington '13 of Jackson Hole, Wyo., who majored in communication with a minor in political science, noted that the website honors were especially exciting since this was the first year for the student-edited enterprise to feature all of its content online. "Our win speaks to the quality program that Trinity has in that we can compete with other schools around the country that have intense journalism programs and still come out on top," she said.

She also noted that the variety of awards underscores the talent of the paper's entire staff and reflects well upon Trinity's communication professors who stress good writing and editing skills. Ethington said the student journalists believe Trinity's model for campus publications is "is really the best hands-on, real-world learning experience that the University could possibly provide."

Web Editor Matt Kafoury '13 of St. Louis, Mo., a communication major with minors in film studies and communication management, said website managers tried to develop an interface to serve both content and users. The national award suggests that the web is achieving its goal of adapting to "today's media landscape" while showcasing the unique talents of individual staff members such as Conway and Dinh, Kafoury said. 

The awards also "demonstrate how motivated our staff is to create a quality product with no bearing on grades and graduation requirements. I think sometimes people lose sight of the fact that the Trinitonian staff is creating this content each week in addition to attending classes and doing homework," Kafoury said.

After graduation, Ethington plans to volunteer at a school in Nicaragua for the summer and return to Texas in the fall to pursue a career in journalism, while Kafoury will teach English in Spain.

Susie P. Gonzalez is assistant director of University Communications and can be reached at