The Griffon News earned 22 awards and its editor-in-chief was named the top college journalist in the state Saturday at the Missouri College Media Association convention, which was hosted by Missouri Western.
David Hon, a junior convergent media major from Platte City and president of MCMA, beat out eight other nominees to be named Journalist of the Year, Missouri Western’s first recipient since 1998. Now in his fourth semester as editor, Hon also took home several individual awards, including first and second place in in-depth reporting, third place and honorable mention in editorial writing, third place in investigative reporting and first place in section front page design.
The Journalist of the Year judges praised Hon for his determination and his passion for writing stories that make a difference in his community, traits that Missouri Western professor Dr. Robert Bergland also extolled in his nomination letter.
“I’m very happy for Dave,” said Bergland, who is on sabbatical this semester but will return in the fall to advise the newspaper. “He has worked incredibly hard in his three years at Missouri Western as both a writer and editor. While his journalistic goals have been altruistic—to improve the newspaper and the campus—it’s nice to see him receive such great recognition for his work. Missouri is a state known for its journalism and journalism schools, so being named as the best college journalist in the state is an incredible honor.”
Graphic design major Brooke Carter also fared very well at the convention, winning 10 individual and shared awards. She swept the top three places in the editorial cartoon category and won the information graphic and advertising categories. She also shared the top honors with other staff members in the section front page design category (with Hon), sports page category (with Thomas Huitt-Johnson and Jason Brown) and feature page category (with Christian Mengel, Jesse Bilderback, Blair Stalder and Brown).
Brown was another multiple award winner, picking up an honorable mention in feature photography to go along with the awards he shared with Carter. Managing editor Caitlin Cress received two individual awards, a second place in entertainment review writing and a third place in feature writing.
“The 22 awards ties the best performance ever for the Griffon News,” said Bergland, who was tabbed as MCMA Adviser of the Year. “I’m pleased that these students did so well, but am proud of all of the students who have contributed in the past year to improve The Griffon News.”
The Griffon Yearbook also won numerous awards, including second place in the main category, theme development. Individual awards went to Jeff Meyer (first and third in sports photography and second place in feature photography), Robin Patti (third place in feature writing), Lauren Hicks (third place in personality sketch) and Raphaelle Drew (honorable mention in Portrait). Drew and Heather Heater teamed up in two entries to take first and second in sports design.
The conference, which drew 150 participants from over 20 Missouri colleges and universities was held in Spratt and Potter Halls. The conference featured workshops, critiques and sessions by journalism teachers and journalists throughout the state, including several from the St. Joseph News-Press. Rob Curley, the new media editor of the Las Vegas Sun and a former vice-president of new media for The Washington Post/Newsweek, was the keynote speaker at the awards banquet, which was held in Fulkerson Center.