This year marked the Cardinal & Cream's first No. 1 ranking in the "Best College Newspaper" category in the "Best of the South" competition. Union's student newspaper has placed in the top 10 in six of the last seven years, previously ranking as high as second in 2005.
The top five ranked schools in the "Best College Newspaper" category this year were Union, Mississippi State University, Louisiana Tech University, West Florida University and Southeastern Louisiana University.
"I am extremely proud of our students and the extraordinary effort they put into each issue of the Cardinal & Cream," said Michael Chute, professor of communication arts at Union and faculty adviser to the publication. "Their showing in the SEJC competition is validation of their journalistic ability, hard work on the newspaper and dedication to the university as they attempt to provide the best student newspaper possible for the campus community."
The rankings are among 33 schools eligible to submit entries from eight states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee — including the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Middle Tennessee State University, Louisiana State University and the University of Mississippi, to name a few.
"I am so proud of the Cardinal & Cream staff for their hard work the past few years," said Union senior Angela Abbamonte, editor-in-chief of the newspaper. "We have gone into each issue of the Cardinal & Cream trying to improve, and those efforts have shown in all aspects of the newspaper. I am thankful we could represent Union University in a regional competition such as the Southeast Journalism Conference."
In addition to the top ranking for college newspapers, the Cardinal & Cream's website, cardinalandcream.info, was ranked No. 2 in the "Best College Website" category. The top five ranked schools in the website category were Belmont University, Union, the University of Alabama, Florida A&M University and Harding University.
Union students also fared well individually, ranking in 10 of the 19 categories. Only the University of Memphis had more overall winning entries with 11, while Union tied the University of Mississippi, Florida A&M and Southeast Louisiana with 10 each.
Union's individual winners were:
-- Katherine Pullen, junior, and Sarah Palmer, senior, No. 1 in the "Multimedia Journalist" category.
-- Margaret Brinson, junior, No. 2 in the "Feature Writer" category.
-- Abbamonte, No. 4 in the "Journalist of the Year" category, the top individual award SEJC gives, and No. 10 in the "News Reporter" category.
-- Beth Spain, senior, No. 3 in the "Press Photographer" category. She ranked first in this category last year.
-- Katie Shatzer, who graduated in December, No. 1 in "Journalism Research Paper" and No. 5 as "Editorial-Opinion Writer."
-- Erica Davis, senior, No. 3, and Rachel Golias, senior, No. 7 in the "Newspaper Page Layout Designer" category.
-- Alex Brown, junior, No. 7 in the "Sports Reporter" category.
Compiled by Tim Ellsworth, director of news and media relations at Union
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