BHSU student-run newspaper earns first place in national competition

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, May 6, 2014/Categories: 2014

           From left to right going up, Jodi Mathis, mass communication major from Loveland, Colo.,  Harlie Dale, mass communication major from Ravenna, Neb. Jenna Carda, corporate communication major from Miles City, Mont.  Ashley Grable, corporate communication major from Rapid City  Jaron Jenkins, mass communication major from Cheyenne, Wyo. Jeff Smith, mass communication major from Harrison, Neb. Evan Bruce, mass communication major from Biddle, Mont. Ashley True, corporate communication major from Casper, Wyo. Amy Varland, mass communication major from Lead and Jesus Ramos, graphic design communication major from Spearfish.

The Jacket Journal, the Black Hills State University&rsquos student newspaper, is continuing its tradition of excellence with another first place award in the 2014 American Scholastic Press Association (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 student staffs.

"It is awesome that the Jacket Journal has taken first place again because it really shows that all of our hard work has paid off," said Jodi Mathis, mass communication major from Loveland, Colo., and Jacket Journal editor-in-chief. "The Jacket Journal staff puts in so much time and effort into the paper, and I am so glad that we have received this award so that people can see how hard we work to put this paper together for the school and community."

Mathis said in her role as editor she tries to increase readership with each edition by having newsworthy material that engages students, faculty, staff and community members. Aside from campus coverage, the Jacket Journal staff includes a variety of Black Hills area, regional and national news.

The staff has also been focusing efforts on increasing graphics and illustrations in the newspaper. "Making the newspaper aesthetically pleasing so that students, faculty and staff will pick up the paper is also something that the Jacket Journal staff works on each edition," Mathis aid.

The Jacket Journal  has  won awards every year with the ASPA since 2007, with most of them being First Place recognition and even a couple First Place with Special Merit, according to Dr. Mary Caton-Rosser, faculty advisor of the Jacket Journal and assistant professor of mass communication at BHSU.

"The annual achievements indicate consistency of excellence in the news organization in terms of staff and systems. Even though great student staff come and go every single semester due to graduation, a new staff comes in with high standards each year and works to balance both quality, on-going production of hard-copy Jacket Journal and the 365/24/7 converged site"  

Each publication is judged in a series of categories including content, page design, general plan, art/ads/illustration, editing, and creativity.

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

Caton-Rosser said students of all majors and minors are welcome to apply from across the Spearfish campus as well as the University Center-Rapid City.

For more information about the Jacket Journal contact Caton-Rosser at or at 642-6422.

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