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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2004 News Archive > ACU newspaper named best in state of Texas

ACU newspaper named best in state of Texas

For immediate release
April 5, 2004

Professional journalists this weekend judged Abilene Christian University’s student newspaper, The Optimist, the best college paper in the state.

The Optimist won first place in the "Overall Div. I Newspaper" category at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) convention in Austin, placing ahead of newspapers from the University of Texas-Arlington, the University of North Texas and UT-Austin.

"It's a tremendous honor," said Paul Anthony, editor of The Optimist and senior journalism major from New Haven, Conn. "We went up against much bigger public university newspapers, and the judges decided we were the best."

The award was the crowning moment for The Optimist and ACU's journalism and
mass communication department, both of which were awarded heavily Saturday morning.

The paper also won first place in "Best of Show," which awards the best single issue from the spring semester, and placed second in the "Sweepstakes" competition, which is based on the total number of awards won.

Student-journalists from KACU-FM, KXN-TV and the Prickly Pear yearbook also won awards given for previously submitted work. Work done by the department's students won or placed 36 times in 34 categories.

In live competition, participants from ACU placed in 12 categories, winning six of them.

"I am so proud of our students," said Cheryl Bacon, chair of the department and faculty adviser for The Optimist. "And I'm proud of the tradition they perpetuate with these honors. ... They are simply the best ACU has to offer, and I considered it an honor to be with them to share their moment."

Prickly Pear co-editor Jennifer McMichael also received a Frank W. Buckley Scholarship for Journalistic Excellence, one of four awarded.

The judges for the "Overall Newspaper" category said The Optimist contained the best photographs and reproduction, as well as "solid, clean writing."

"Without a doubt, the most complete, in-depth coverage of any of the papers," the judges wrote.

Anthony said The Optimist's 15-member staff deserved the credit for elevating the semi-weekly publication to such levels.

"A paper is only as good as its writers, page designers and copy editors," he said. "Without the best staff in the state, you can't have the best newspaper in the state."

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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, media relations coordinator.

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