Optimist, KACU-FM staffs place first in statewide and regional competitions

Posted April 12, 2013

Students from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication excelled in this year’s Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) competition and in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards competition. The results of both contests were announced this weekend.

The Optimist, ACU’s on-campus newspaper, won first place in overall excellence among Texas newspapers in the TIPA competition. Students on the newspaper's staff won 19 other awards in writing, design and photojournalism, including three first places, four second places, three third places and nine honorable mentions. They competed against student publications at the largest universities in the state.

In addition, The Optimist won Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper in Texas and Oklahoma in the SPJ regional competition. The publication is now eligible for a national competition in that category. Also in the SPJ competition, the JMC Network won first place in Best All-Around Television Newscast, and KACU, ACU’s NPR-affiliated radio station, won second place in Best All-Around Radio Newscast.

In the TIPA radio category, KACU won first place in overall excellence for its News at Noon program. The station also won the radio sweepstakes award with the largest number of highest-ranked awards. Competing against all student radio stations in the state, KACU staffers won five first places, a second place, a third place and an honorable mention.

In the online (division 2) category, the JMC Network won first place in General Website Excellence for its acuoptimist.com news site and won the sweepstakes award, netting three first places, a second place and an honorable mention.

In the television news category, the students won two first places, a second place, two third places and two honorable mentions. Those awards included a second place for Best Newscast.

Students who attended the conference won nine live competition awards in writing, design, photography and editorial cartooning, including two first places, three second places, one third place and three honorable mentions.

In addition, Julie Coppedge, senior advertising and public relations major from Amarillo, won a Frank W. Buckley Scholarship for her academic performance at ACU.

The complete list of awards is found below.

TIPA Awards (Newspaper Division 1) for ACU

First Place
The Optimist – Overall Excellence
Hannah Barnes – Single Subject Presentation Design
Asia Todd – Illustration (non-photo)
Curtis Christian – Picture Story

Second Place
Jozie Sands – Opinion/Editorial Page Design
Mandy Lambright – Sports Action Photo
Ben Miller – Editorial Cartoon
Mark Smith – Page One Design

Third Place
Hannah Barnes – Headline
Edward Isaacs – Sports Page Design
Samantha Sutherland – Feature Page Design

Honorable Mention
Mandy Lambright and Brittany Williams – Picture Story
Samantha Sutherland – Feature Page Design
Matthew Sloan – Sports Column
Samantha Sutherland – Feature Story
Natalie Goin – Sports News Story
Mandy Lambright – Sports Feature Photo
Austin Gwin – Sports Feature Story
Hannah Barnes – Information Graphic
Mandy Lambright – Feature Photo


Overall Excellence
Walter Walker, Julie Coppedge, Zane Goggans and Blane Singletary for News at Noon           

First Place
Blane Singletary – Production
Meagan Freeman – Single Public Affairs
Blane Singletary – Spot Commercial, PSA, Promo
Marcus Bowen – Spot News

Second Place
Brady Cox – Feature Story

Third Place
Blane Singletary – Documentary

Honorable Mention
Marcus Bowen – Spot News


General Web Site Excellence
Taylor Langston, Mandy Lambright and Paige Otway           

First Place
Lucius Patenaude – Best Video
JMC Network Staff – Best Blog

Second Place
Mark Smith – Best Breaking News
JMC Network Staff – Best Interactivity

Honorable Mention
Mark Smith, Taylor Langston, Mandy Lambright, Brance Armstrong and Will Rogers – Best Breaking News


First Place
Taylor Langston – Audition Tape
Taylor Langston – Sports Feature Story

Second Place
Farron Salley - Best Newscast

Third Place
Caitlin Bradford – News Feature Story
Matt Sewell, Catrina Bailey and Marcus Bowen – Public Affairs Program

Honorable Mention
Taylor Langston, Brance Armstrong and Will Rogers – News Non-Feature Story
Farron Salley, Marcus Bowen, Blane Singletary, Jacob Kitts, Caitlin Bradford, Christina Burch, Meagan Freeman, Morgan Johnson, Grant Stephens – Production

SPJ (Region 8) Results for ACU

First Place
The Optimist – Best All-Around Non-Daily Newspaper
The JMC Network Sportscast – Best All-Around Sportscast

Second Place
The JMC Network Newscast – Best All-Around Newscast
Taylor Langston – Feature Writing
Edward Isaacs – Sportswriting
Mark Smith – Column Writing

Third Place
Mandy Lambright – Feature Photo
Mandy Lambright – Sports Photo


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