The O.C. McDavid Student Newspaper Awards, sponsored by the Mississippi Press Association, were held recently and The Blue & White Flash, Jackson Sate University’s official campus newspaper, won 17 awards, including seven first-place awards.
Dr. Elayne H. Anthony, dean of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, was ecstatic over the news of the Flash’s awards.
“We are very proud of the Mississippi Press Association awards received by our students with The Blue & White Flash. It was very gratifying to hear of the 17 awards, which included 7 first place awards, because this puts the Flash in a whole new category. This shows that our students are producing an accurate and professional product that is being recognized and applauded,” said Anthony.
The awards were held in a conjunction with a conference between Jackson State University School of Journalism and Media Studies (SJMS) and the Mississippi Press Association. The conference, which discussed new ways media is delivered and received, ended with an awards banquet and heartfelt speech from banquet speaker Alysia Burton Steele, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist. She is author of the book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom.” The book is a collection of formal portraits and oral histories from church mothers, including civil rights activist Myrlie Evers – widow of NAACP leader Medgar Evers.
“When I moved to Mississippi and I accepted a position at the University of Mississippi, I knew the painful past of this state and I wasn’t quite ready for it. I wasn’t ready for some of the challenges I was facing at the University of Mississippi and I wanted to pick up the phone and call my grandmother and I couldn’t. There’s nothing like that regret when you want to talk to someone and they are no longer on this earth,” said Steele.
She added, “I decided that I would know more about my grandmother by interviewing other people’s grandmothers. So from this personal project came a book. The New York Times heard about it and wrote about and book deals came. I wanted to tell the journalism students in particular, follow what you are passionate about and what you care about because you never know where that road can take you and do it with a good heart and good intentions.”
The following awards were earned:
1st Place – Design – The Blue & White Flash
1st Place – Editorial Cartoon – Rhis Harris
1st Place – Editorials – Deirdra Harris Glover
1st Place In-depth or Investigative Report – William H. Kelly III and Deirdra H. Glover
1st Place – Use of Video – My’Una Jones
1st Place – Single Advertisement – William H. Kelly III
1st Place – Miscellaneous Ad – William H. Kelly III
2nd Place – General Excellence – The Blue & White Flash
2nd Place – General News Story – William H. Kelly III
2nd Place – Website – The Blue & White Flash
2nd Place – Editorial Cartoon – Rhis Harris
2nd Place – Single Advertisement – William H. Kelly III
2nd Place – Miscellaneous Ad – William H. Kelly III
2nd Place – Front Page
2nd Place – Use of Video – Brittney Williams
3rd Place – Spot News Photo – William H. Kelly III
3rd Place – Single Advertisement – William H. Kelly III