Temple Times Online Edition
    APRIL 6, 2006
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Temple News staffers win
11 Keystone Awards

The Temple News
Photo by Karen Shuey
John Kopp (standing), The Temple News’ assistant sports editor, makes late-minute suggestions to the pages as sports editor Chris Vito (left) and copy editor Jeremy Drummond correct the changes, and the staff puts in final changes.

As the wee hours of the morning approach, papers covered with red marks are being shuffled from desk to desk. Editors are making the last-minute adjustments to the pages.

You may be picturing the newsroom of The Philadelphia Inquirer, but, in reality, this is a typical scene on a Monday night at The Temple News — as a dozen or more students prepare to send the student-run publication to the presses.

Although the News isn’t as recognizable as The Philadelphia Inquirer, several News staffers are already working in internships at the prestigious newspaper. And with all the awards the publication has recently received, don’t be surprised if you see the same bylines popping up in many more of the nation’s top newspapers.

Last month, seven students were awarded first-place honors in the 10th annual Pennsylvania Newspaper Association’s Scholastic and Collegiate Keystone Press Awards for their work on The Temple News.

Keystone Award

First place, spot news:
Alysha Brennan, Chris Stover, Christopher Wink, Chris Reber and Brandon Lausch

First place, public service:
John Kopp

First place, layout and design:
Nadia Stadnycki

Second place, feature story:
Sammy Davis

Second place, personality profile:
Ben Watanabe

Second place, sports story:
John Kopp

Second place, sports photo:
Steve Gengler

The statewide competition — broken down into eight divisions each for professional, high school, college and university publications — rewards “excellence by individuals in the newspaper profession by recognizing journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights and responsibilities,” according to the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

Tracy Metz, assistant foundation director of the PNA, said that overall the publication picked up 11 Keystone Awards, making it one of the most impressive collegiate newspapers in the state.
“It’s a prestigious thing to say that your publication has won quite a few [Keystone Awards], as is the case with Temple, because it shows that the University has a strong journalism program and the students who contribute are very talented,” Metz said.

Brandon Lausch, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, took first-place honors for his on-the-spot coverage of the SEPTA strike last fall. Lausch attributes the staff’s recent success to real-world training that he thought would better prepare the news staff with more realistic training.

“Over the past year, we have established some writing workshops for our writers, tried to bridge the communication gap between our reporters and editors, and invited guest speakers to talk about what it’s like in an actual newsroom.”

The staff, which consists of 25 full-time members and anywhere up to 100 contributors at any given time, is not required to have journalism experience but is expected to be able to handle working under tight deadlines.

Though it is currently a weekly publication, there have been discussions in the past about expanding the newspaper to a daily production — making deadlines even tighter. But with a tight budget, Lausch said the newspaper staff has begun to get creative in finding new ways to build funds.

“This year, we decided to stay a once-a-week publication so we can prove to the University that we can be fiscally stable,” Lausch said. “In order to do that, we hired advertising assistants to make sure we can gain enough revenue to run our paper well.”

Whether the newspaper becomes a daily or not is yet to be seen, but for right now, the staff is focusing on keeping the publication an award-winning “watchdog for the Temple University community.”

“For us, this means a lot, because this is the first time we have ever entered a contest and we actually ended up bringing home 11 awards,” Lausch said proudly. “Hopefully this [contest] is only the first in a long line of achievements for The Temple News.”

Karen Shuey