‘The Southern’ Honored at SPJ’s Sunshine State Awards

Sep 16, 2015

by FSC Staff

Florida Southern College’s student newspaper, The Southern, placed first and its online publication placed second in the Student Division of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards. 

In addition, FSC graduate Maggie Ross, who served as editor of the newspaper in the fall of 2014, placed first in the opinion writing category for her piece on anonymous social media posts.

The recognitions were announced last month during the annual Sunshine State Awards, held in Miami. SPJ Florida has recognized and celebrated Florida's finest journalism for two decades. This is the second consecutive year The Southern has placed in the top student newspaper and top student website categories.

The Southern, a bi-weekly publication, placed first in the best newspaper category among low frequency publications, as well as second place in the best website category. The competition included entries from the spring and fall semesters of 2014.

Ross’s opinion piece called on anonymous posters to social media sites to identify themselves so that in the interest of objectivity, their “side” of the story could be shared. Judges appreciated the tongue-in-cheek style. “Entirely creative and innovative, challenging the conventional approach of awareness and observational opinion writing,” commented one of the judges.

“I am so proud of my staff and the hard work they put in on the paper,” said Dr. Mike Trice, adviser of The Southern. “It is always great when an outside organization such as this recognizes the skills, time and energy that these students put in. I am especially proud to see Maggie recognized for her outstanding opinion piece.”

In addition to Ross, who served as editor in the fall of 2014, Leah Schwarting served as editor in the spring of 2014. Other members of the editorial staff included Rebecca Padgett, Alyssa Barker, Bethany Schram, Valeria Sabate, Danika Thiele, Samantha Hymson and Raven Leverett.

The Southern is published every other week during the fall and spring semesters. The paper and the website are produced by students through the Department of Communication.