June 27, 2013 | 5:04 p.m.
By Suzanne McInroy, Director of Communications
Award-winning photo by Matt Kelley '13, editor-in-chief of the Clarion, of Mitch Hallstrom '14 making a one-handed catch in a football playoff game from November.
The Clarion, Bethel University’s student newspaper, recently received five awards from the Advisers of Christian Collegiate Media (ACCM). The organization’s first annual awards program was held in May in conjunction with the annual “Awards of Excellence” competition run by the Evangelical Press Association that evaluates overall excellence in student publications.
“It's so easy to get consumed by the day-to-day tasks and deadlines, so it's great getting affirmation about the final product,” says Matt Kelley, editor-in-chief of the Clarion during the 2012-13 academic year. The Clarion took first-place honors in five of the eight categories representing different aspects of publishing excellence.
“The ACCM awards are wonderful, especially with the breadth of categories we were able to win,” says Kelley. “In order to win those five awards, we needed excellent reporting, writing, photography, design, and copy editing. Only a few names are officially recognized on the awards, but I think they speak to the talent and cooperation of our entire staff.”
In addition to the ACCM awards, the Clarionreceived awards from the Evangelical Press Association (EPA) for the same photos recognized by ACCM. The EPA awards were a great honor because the Clarion was not competing against other college newspapers, but against Christian publications, notes Phyllis Alsdurf, faculty advisor to the Clarion.
“I think these awards taught us the value of boots-on-the-ground journalism,” says Kelley. The award for the Royal Re-Do photo feature told the story of a dramatic Homecoming football game against the Concordia College Cobbers. “As for the Royal Re-Do spread, we never could have told that story without having photos from both Drea (Chalmers) and me,” says Kelley. “And Shara (Leininger) was fantastic about condensing a complex story into a clear layout. Originally, we had planned to have a different story in our centerfold, but after that game against the Cobbers, it was clear we had a new focus, even with our deadline fast approaching. The football team provided these incredible and memorable moments, but we never would have been able to capture them without being present and willing to improvise.”