The Observer, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s student newspaper, and WFUV, 90.7 FM, were recently honored by the Society of Professional Journalists for their work.
WFUV earned first place awards for the categories best all-around radio newscast and radio in-depth reporting, the latter for “NYC’s Bike-Share Program” by Connor Ryan. The station also won third place in the category radio sports reporting, for “Al Michaels: Seizing the Moment” by Kyle Kesses.
The Observer took home eight mark of excellence awards, for breaking-news photography, breaking-news reporting, editorial writing, feature photography, general column writing, general news photography, general news reporting, and sports writing.
Ian McKenna, the paper’s managing editor, won the general news reporting and breaking-news reporting categories for his coverage of the Fordham College Republican’s Ann Coulter speaking invitation and revocation. McKenna shared the editorial writing award with Opinions Editor Monique John and Editor-in-Chief Harry Huggins.
McKenna, a sophomore who will take over as editor in chief next year, said the staff’s embrace of online journalism was a factor in paper’s success.
“We haven’t been waiting for the two week cycle to print things. Harry Huggins really pushed us to join everyone in the 21st century. So I think that really riled everyone up to do their best work and more frequent work, because the more work you do, the better it works,” he said.
Photography was another area where the paper excelled, with Tavy Wu, Weiyu Li, and Charlie Puente winning honors for breaking news, feature, and general news photography, respectively. Like McKenna’s Ann Coulter story, Wu’s picture of Riverside Park during Hurricane Sandy was published on short notice.
“We didn’t force him to go, because that would be unsafe. He decided to take it upon himself to get a picture,” said McKenna.
“So in that way it was sort of related to our breaking news protocol, but also, we have a really great photo advisor who edits for Bloomberg, so I think that influence, along with this influx of new people really helped us.”
He also credited paper’s advisor, Elizabeth Stone, Ph.D., professor of English, with helping make it a winning year.
“Dr. Stone was very supportive in editing and tailoring our articles. Without her push for both online and good journamislm, we wouldn’t be here,” he said.