Lisa Simmons, sitting, the former managing editor of the Jacket Journal and recent graduate, and Jodi Mathis, content editor, and mass communications major from Loveland, Colo., look over a recent edition of the award-winning Black Hills State University  student newspaper.

The Jacket Journal, Black Hills State University’s student newspaper, recently earned a first place award in the 2013 American Scholastic Press Association’s (ASPA) annual newspaper competition. Each year the ASPA awards the top college and high school literary magazines, newspapers and yearbooks in the country for the work produced by their staffs.

The Jacket Journal was judged in a series of categories including content, page design, general plan, art/ads/illustrations, editing, and creativity.

“In an age of ever-increasing technology and transition to Internet-based news, the first-place award shows that the vitality of The Jacket Journal newspaper is alive and well on campus,” said Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, faculty advisor of the Jacket Journal and assistant professor of mass communication at BHSU. “The student news organization is thrilled to receive news of the award and will work hard to continue the tradition of excellence.”

The BHSU student-run newspaper has been recognized by ASPA in the past with a first place in 2009 and 2010, a first place with special merit in 2011 and a second place in 2012.  

Some of the staff who contributed to this year’s Jacket Journal success include: Devin Lynn, editor-in chief; Lisa Simmons, assistant editor; Brianna Pesek, online editor; Justin Regan, business manager; and Jodi Mathis, content editor. Mathis, mass communications major from Loveland, Colo., is the only senior editor who will be returning next fall. The rest of the senior editor staff graduated earlier this month.

The newspaper staff varies from 20-30 students each semester.

Caton-Rosser said the students work as a team to learn together and apply their skills to a real-time project that they take great pride in both in content and in visual presentation of the newspaper.

“The staff puts in long hours and learns to work collaboratively in a real production situation that includes campus, community, the entire Black Hills region, the state and beyond,” Caton-Rosser said. “Since there is also a 24/7 online version of the Jacket Journal called BHSUbuzz.com, the reach is actually global.”

All students on campus are welcome to participate in Practicum or Jacket Journal as a University organization. For more information about the Jacket Journal contact Caton-Rosser at Mary.CatonRosser@BHSU.edu or at 642-6422.