The Blue and White Flash won a total of 16 awards and two first-place plaques in the student division of the 2017-2018 Better Newspaper Contest at the 20th annual O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference sponsored by the Mississippi Press Association on March 28.
Elated by the accolades, Department of Journalism and Media Studies Chair Elayne H. Anthony said, “Congratulations to the students and management of the Blue & White Flash. To win 16 awards is a wonderful testament to the hard work of the students. I am thrilled that we established ourselves in every category. Again, our hats are off to our wonderful student newspaper the Flash.”
Editor-in-chief Alexandria Galtney, a senior journalism and media studies major from Jackson, also expressed her feelings on the staff’s diligence.
“I am extremely proud of The Blue and White Flash staff writers,” said Galtney. “We pride ourselves on giving important, factual information so to see the Mississippi Press Association award us on that is an amazing feeling,” she said.
The conference took place at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Other newspapers that participated in the event were The Mississippi State University Reflector, The Southern University Student Printz, The Holmes Community College Growl and The Radionian from Jones County Junior College.
The keynote speaker was Jerry Mitchell, an investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger. Mitchell is responsible for writing the stories that led to the reopening of the Medgar Evers murder case and many other cold Civil Rights case murders.
He also wrote a series that brought attention to alleged serial killer Felix Vail. Likewise, his award-winning writing has helped to put four members of the Ku Klux Klan in jail. According to Mitchell, his work shows you what the power of the press can do.
“I believe journalism is one of the noblest professions and when we are at our most noble, we make a difference in people lives,” Mitchell said. “I believe that and I’ve seen that over and over again.”
The Flash staff won in the following awards:
First place: Best Single Miscellaneous Ad
First place: Use of Video
Second place: Best Cartoon
Second place: Best Editorials
Second place: Best Sports Story
Second place: Best Single Misc. Ad
Second place: Best Use of Video
Second place: General Excellence
Third place: Best General News Story
Third place: Best Use of Video
Third place: Best Feature Story
Third place: Best Single Misc. Ad
Third place: Best Layout & Design
Third place: Best Front Page
Third place: Best Feature Photo
Third place: Best Website