2010 ACP Reporter of the Year Winners
Four-year College Reporter
Judge's comments: Treating Autism: This feature story was polished, didn’t have style errors and was pegged to a news issue – the national health insurance debate. It was a nice length, but had a good amount of information about what it is like to have a child with autism. Good use of quotes. Overall, a very efficient story, and one that has a clear point, but without having an overwhelming agenda. Athletics Finances: This could have easily been a dry “numbers” story about collegiate athletics, but Mullen has an easy-to-read and engaging style, and he doesn’t invent controversy where there is none. Going Digital: Again, we find Mullen’s style compelling, and his choice of topics slightly off-beat and interesting. This collaboration with the school’s library and Google is probably something most students didn’t know about, but they will take advantage of in the future. Great context about why this project is important, and with the news peg to the judge’s ruling.
Judge's comments: We loved this series for its focus on the issues that illegal students face; a part of the controversy often overlooked while people focus on the hoopla surrounding immigration. The final story with profiles of illegal students was very compelling and humanized the whole issue. Very nice work, but possibly would have been better if the information was condensed – each succeeding story did answer questions brought up by the previous one, but readers certainly have to read every single word of each story, and how often does that happen? Nevertheless, Quizon gathered a lot of information, and each part of the series was well-organized and had good quotes.
Judge's comments: Student found in Stairwell: Very in-depth story about a missing student and the unhappy ending to the search for him. We saw a lot of stories about drinking and drugs among the entries, but this one was intensely focused and even had an informative graphic and timeline. Pa. State workers rally for full pay: Very newsy daily story about the effect of a state budget crisis. But he managed to make it relevant to students with a few quotes from a mom worried about paying her daughter’s tuition. In the future, a few details about the numbers of the state budget crisis might have been helpful for context. Betsy Ruth Aardsma, 40 years later: A story about a long-cold murder case of a Penn state graduate student. Good research – great interviews with her friends, boyfriend, and the investigators. A good story, but one without resolution, unfortunately. Possibly a better story might have focused on the state trooper who is still working on the case and has resolved to solve it. Her friend and boyfriend have moved on, but the story is still very fresh to the investigator. Also, was it not possible to wait to print the story until after the DNA tests came back?
Two-year College Reporter
Judge's comments: Eli's stories stood out for writing that was more polished than other top entries in the category. Two of his stories were well-written but unremarkable features on rugby and hookah; the third showed him taking on tougher territory, racism and intolerance, in an unflinching way.
Judge's comments: Keierleber had a couple of stories that impressed, one on the sudden and unexplained dismissal of the school activities director and another on a former scholarship basketball player who had frequent run-ins with campus authorities. Keierleber did what he could to find out why the activities director was dismissed and showed readers why his firing mattered to some people. The other piece was commendable for giving significant space to the troubled athlete to give his side of the story. All three of Keierleber's stories showed well compared to other entries in terms of organization and clarity.
Judge's comments: Radmer had a couple of nice, light, engaging features. She was less successful with a piece on swine flu that read more like a charticle than a story, with too many facts about pandemics dumped on the reader and too little about the school's readiness for the flu.
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