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Georgia Southern University’s student media earn statewide awards

Seven Georgia Southern University students received awards from the Georgia College Press Association (GCPA), an affiliate of the Georgia Press Association, in its annual Better Newspaper Contest on Feb. 2.

‘It’s gratifying for me to see the students get recognized for their efforts,” says Kelley Callaway, faculty advisor to Student Media. ‘The individual awards we received help to reiterate the impact journalism has on a community.”

Four student writers and three student photographers were recognized for their individual journalistic work. Of the seven, Reuben Hayslett was selected for first place in the category of Best Feature Story and Tao Ventre also received first place for Best Editorial or Feature Photograph.

‘Getting first place recognition on a statewide level is a big achievement,” says Hayslett, a junior Writing and Linguistics major, ‘but I know it wouldn’t be possible if it were not for the support of the Student Media staff and the faculty of Writing and Linguistics Department.” Hayslett’s winning feature story conveyed the initial shock and grief of first hearing that David Starnes, a well-loved professor in the Writing and Linguistic Department, had tragically passed away.

This year the Student Media staff and individual student journalists took home a total of thirteen awards. Other individual student winners include Robert Greene II for second place in Best Review, Daniel Flanders for second place in Best Editorial of Feature Photograph, Elliot Volkman for second place in Best Investigative News Story, Jamie Tuten for second place in Best Sports Photograph, and Jamon Frazer for third place in Best Entertainment Feature.

The George-Anne Daily, and its Thursday magazine edition The Southern Reflector, bring current events and campus news to the student body. They were first to break the investigative story of mismanagement and health code violations from a local apartment complex.

‘Elliot Volkman’s story on the poor conditions at one of the area apartment complexes might have won him an award, but more importantly, that story prompted the management to fix the problems mentioned in the story. Elliot’s story made life better for students. That’s the real power of journalism,” says Callaway.

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