SCJ announces individual awards

Members of the NCSU chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists won the following 18 awards for the 2010 national contest covering calendar year 2009. Award recipients include Kyle Robb, Susannah Brinkley, John Cooper Elias, Tim O’Brien, Megan Myers, Meredith Faggart, Brent Kitchen and Saja Hindi representing the WKNC 88.1fm, the Technician and Windhover literary and arts magazine.

Members of the NCSU chapter of the Society for Collegiate Journalists won the following 18 awards for the 2010 national contest covering calendar year 2009. Award recipients include Kyle Robb, Susannah Brinkley, John Cooper Elias, Tim O’Brien, Megan Myers, Meredith Faggart, Brent Kitchen and Saja Hindi representing the WKNC 88.1fm, the Technician and Windhover literary and arts magazine.

Newspaper News Stories

  • first place, Saja Hindi, “New chancellor search begins,” 07/23/2009 – Judge’s note: “It’s very easy to lose readers with a process story like this one, but Hindi tells us how a new chancellor will be chosen while keeping our attention.”
  • honorable mention, Saja Hindi, “Networking tool becomes political force, 06/18/2009 and “Obama addresses NC, 07/30/2009

Continuing coverage

  • first place, John Cooper Elias and Saja Hindi, “Easley won’t resign” and “Easley to contest firing,” 05/28/2009 and 07/02/2009 respectively. Judge’s note: “Good job of handing off coverage from one reporter to another. Hindi and Elias both thoroughly cover the bases.”


  • first place, Saja Hindi, “Ceresnak takes office,” 04/16/2009; tie with Molly Born, The Columns, Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV.

Feature Photography

  • Judge’s initial comments: “Many entries in this category were of events on stage, either concerts or plays/musicals. The judge believes this is equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel. The photographer just needs to show up and everything else is laid out for him/her. The winning photos in this category required the photographers to seek out the subject, explore unusual angles and capture unplanned moments or emotions. The judge realizes there is a need for photos of the stage events, but he also believes there are many “discoverable” moments reflecting the rich cultures and diverse population occurring on a college campus throughout the day and night, and they need to be documented.”
  • first place, Tim O’Brien, “Lounging Between Classes,” page 2, 09/29/2009. Judge’s note: “This photo jumped out immediately as the best in the category. Excellent perspective from above, the image reflects a quiet, relaxing moment on campus. The judge applauds Tim for getting a good quote too: “I’m supposed to be studying, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.”
  • second place, Meredith Faggart, “Reaching for the Top,”page 2, 09/09/2009. Judge’s note: “Meredith found a good angle to photograph the rock climber and waited for a good moment of emotion that illustrates the difficulty in climbing the wall. The dangling ropes and the spotter on the floor adds perspective and additional information for the viewer.”
  • third place, Tim O’Brien, “Walking in Uniform,” page 5, 08/28/2009. Judge’s note: “A simple, clean image that is graphically appealing. The photographer saw the opportunity created by the glass panels and just waited for someone to come walking by. Patience pays off. Also, as in the first place photo, Tim spoke to the subject and got information that could be added to the caption.”

Sports Photography

  • Judge’s initial comment: “The winning entries all have something in common: clean backgrounds that help make the subjects pop so that the reader can concentrate more on the expressions on faces, eyes on the ball, muscles straining, peak action, decisive moment, etc. It’s far better than being distracted by advertisements in the background and extraneous coaches or fans. Notice none of the winning entries are of basketball or football. As those two sports become more popular, it makes it more difficult for photographers to do their jobs because access may be limited and games played at night or indoors when lighting is more difficult. A photographer trying to build a sports portfolio should consider seeking out less popular sports that many times can yield unusual and strong photos.
  • first place, Brent Kitchen, “Wrestling,” 11/03/2009. Judge’s note: Brent chose an elevated angle to place the wrestlers against the plain background of the wrestling mat as opposed to sitting at ground level, which leads to distracting backgrounds. Good decisive moment as one wrestler is airborne, and both faces are clearly visible.”

Graphic Illustration

  • second place, Susannah Brinkley, “Conflict in Gaza continues,” (Focused) 01/13/2009

Front Page Layout

  • honorable mention, Susannah Brinkley, 01/20/2009. Judge’s note: Classy-looking page with good use of white space. Things that could use polish and would have helped the page place higher: a cleaner layout solution for the jumble of campout pulled quotes at the bottom of the page and a smaller online/email refer type element that doesn’t upstage the headline so much. The snowfall graphic was useful, but it’s missing a source line and could have done without the y-axis tick marks since the actual figures are already marked on the bars.”

Photo Essay

  • Judge’s initial note: “Photo essays and photo stories are difficult to pull off successfully because they require far more resources: time, space, design, effort and thoughtful collaboration between all the parties involved in their creation. Of the entries in this category, there were too many instances of a full page being a dumping ground for photos without captions or text to give the reader perspective. Just because there is extra space available does not relieve the photographer or editors of responsibility in giving careful consideration to everything on that page. Photos must still be good. Captions must still be accurate and complete. (And give the reader a break…put captions under each photo instead of caption blocks, forcing the reader to read, search, repeat) Also, call me old fashioned, but keep headlines off the photos.”
  • third place, Meredith Faggart, Megan Myers, Tim O’Brien, “First campus challenge promotes student life,” 03/27/2009. Judge’s note: “These are all good photos, unfortunately they are all undersized at least one column. While it’s good to land on the front page, could more space been available inside? Extra real estate would have allowed proper sizing as well as a much needed fifth photo: an overall of the event that shows the whole setting. All photos ares tight, but the viewer/reader doesn’t get a sense of how each image fits into the whole event.”

Best Editorial Page

  • Technician, “Cutting the circuit,” (Focused) 03/31/2009 (page design, illustration by Susannah Brinkley). Judge’s note: “An ambitious and thorough look at a problem that I imagine many schools will be facing in the near future. I like the use of student and staff opinions — they brought some diverse an interesting ideas to the table and the package gave a sense of the type of discussion the university needs to have to move into the future. The only suggestion I might have made would be to label the other opinions in some way:for example, “Our View” and “Views from the Campus” or “Other Views.” And from a design standpoint, I might have used a lighter shade of the green used in the illustration behind the stories to avoid the jarring white and make it blend. Again, a very thoughtful and well-presented package.”

Inside Page Design, Soft News

  • first place, John Cooper Elias, “Traditions spread,” summer orientation issue, 2009. Judge’s note: “Very accessible information. Great use of parallel pull-out boxes to explain different traditions on campus; the typography and structure of those boxes pulled me right through. Color was pretty restrained, and the overall typography was very consistent with an appropriate scale. Smart little rating system for the traditions capped box, making it a really quick read.”
  • second place – Susannah Brinkley, “Take a ride on the wild(er) side,” 03/12/2009. Judge’s note: “A close second. Nice structure, great use of interesting graphics and by-the-numbers pullouts to amplify the story (one nitpick: although the timeline graphic was really interesting, it’s scale and color choice was a bit raw). Typography is pretty clean, but a little gimmicky (too much color and all caps; the shadow on the lead head was a bit much).”


Magazine Overall ExcellenceWindhover, 2009

Radio Radio Broadcast News

  • first place, Kyle Robb, 88.1 Seconds of Technician, 01/08/2009

Radio Commercial, Promotion and Public Announcement

  • honorable mention, Kyle Robb, “Dance Dance Revolution”

Judges included: Clay Bennett, Chatanooga Times Free Press, Sterling Chen, Philadelphia Enquirer, Pat Duggins, Alabama Public Radio, Lacey Howard, Decorating Magazine, Glen Kemery, Yahoo Sports, David Kordalski, Patricia McKubbin, The Plain Dealer, Robert Naylor, Cliff Schiappa,The Associated Press, Rick Stewart, The Kenly News, Wes Trammell, Coastal Living Magazine.