February 19, 2009
09-033

Natalie Quinn, Student Intern

The Spectator Takes Home Record Number of Awards

VALDOSTA - The Valdosta State University student newspaper, The Spectator, recently took home the most rewards received by the publication in the past decade from the Georgia College Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

The Valdosta State University Spectator is becoming a powerhouse in the Georgia Press arena after receiving ten awards at the annual banquet that took place on Saturday, Feb. 7, in Athens.

Only large schools like Georgia Tech out ranked the journalists from VSU who competed against all of the colleges in Georgia for the overall categories and schools such as Georgia Southern, Savannah College of Art & Design and Emory University for the 4-year Schools A Category.
“I think other schools like Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech are starting to realize that The Spectator is knocking on their doors and sometimes beating them,” said Editor Karah-Leigh Hancock, who also won first place for a concert review in the Best Entertainment/Feature category.

With 4,000 copies distributed every Thursday at both campus and local business locations, the pick-up rate is usually between 80-90 percent. Students cannot walk through campus without seeing a copy that catches their eye.

“I like [The Spectator]; it is informative and lets you know what’s happening on campus,” said freshman nursing major Ashley Brickner. “It’s really good to know that someone is putting effort into something like that.”

Students who don’t grab a hard copy can view the spectator online at www.vsuspectator.com . The website, which receives between 200 to 400 hits per day, came in second place for Best Web Site at the banquet.

“The newspaper has come a long way since I started in 2005 as Web editor,” Hancock said. “I sat in an "in the round" discussion at the conference with other newspaper editors and they were amazed at some of the things we do in our newsroom, on the Web site and with our staff.”

Last year The Spectator won four awards, including General Advertising Excellence (2nd Place), Best Campus Community Service-Features (2nd place), Improvement Award (3rd Place) and the Best Campus Community News (3rd place).

For more information about The Spectator or to submit a news tip, call 229-333-5686 or e-mail spec@valdosta.edu.

Below is a full list of awards won by The Spectator:
Best Web Site -2nd
Best Campus Community Service News -2nd
Improvement-3rd
General Advertising-1st
Layout and Design-2nd
General Excellence-3rd
Best Entertainment Feature by Karah-Leigh Hancock-1st place
Best Feature Story by Angel Bass-3rd
Best Column by Ashley George-2nd
Best Sports Story by Dustin Swedelson -2nd

* Honorable mention in the Impact category when to Maegan Moore