The Pine Needle wins first place with special merit
from American Scholastic Press Association
From staff reports
April 25, 2013
The Pine Needle campus newspaper has received a 2012-13 First Place with Special Merit award from the American Scholastic Press Association for its outstanding content and design.
The honor ranks the student newspaper among the best in the United States for the fifth year in a row. This year is the first "with Special Merit."
Special merit is given to "publications with special and outstanding design and content" and is considered higher than first place.
The Pine Needle also earned an Outstanding Story – Non-School Related award for Samantha Langley's story "Soldier's Funeral Site of Protest" in which she covered the Westboro Baptist Church protest in Raeford. Langley is from Supply, N.C.
Five years in a row
The Pine Needle previously had received the First Place for the past four years in the ASPA competition among more than 2500 newspapers.
"Five years of awards has a nice ring to it," said Dr. Judy Curtis, associate professor of mass communication and Pine Needle faculty adviser. "In addition to this national recognition, the newspaper consistently wins awards in the regional North Carolina College Media Association competition."
Editors in chief
Allyson Betot, from Cary, N.C., was editor in the fall 2012 semester, and Kelly Mayo, from Fuquay Varina, N.C., was editor in the spring 2013 semester. Both have been hired into full-time positions with newspapers in North Carolina.
Ashley Cole, from Apex, N.C., the current managing editor, was named editor by the Student Publications Board in April. She will begin working in her new position in May as editor of the newspaper's online summer edition.
"I'm so proud of the students who put their hearts and soul into working on the paper," Dr. Curtis said.
In print and online
The newspaper prints its editions 14 times a year during the fall and spring semesters and has a year-round website that also offers podcasts and videos.
During this 2012-2013 school year, the newspaper published 316 pages in its print editions.
"Students have a hands-on opportunity to practice all the skills today's news media professionals need," Dr. Curtis said. "The students decide on the content, write and edit all the stories, take the photos, write the headlines and design the pages. They also sell and design the advertising and handle circulation.
"The newspaper's website also features podcasts and videos produced by the students," she noted. "Producing The Pine Needle is a learning laboratory that prepares students to perform immediately at a high professional level once they graduate."
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