With awards announced April 4 for the Arkansas College Media Association state journalism contest, Tower Media was awarded 36 awards collectively, including the Tower being named first place for Newspaper of the Year.
“This is a contest we look forward to every year, and we are excited about the awards,” said Ann Gardner, Tower Media adviser. “Our students are dedicated to hard work and continue to grow and challenge themselves as journalists.”
Gardner said the Tower came in second place last year, and Tower editors were determined to do even better in this year’s contest.
“It’s amazing that our monthly newspaper was chosen over the many college weeklies across the state,” said Gardner. “With the way the communication department has grown in the past few years, and as we’ve added instructors who teach a multitude of hands-on skills, our students have developed the ability to compete with students at larger colleges.”
However, Gardner pointed out that many Tower Media staff members are not communication majors, but have learned the skills needed through training provided at staff retreats.
“We have always had students who have other plans for after college but want to be part of the Tower Media family while they are here,” said Gardner. “They are a big part of our success.”
For the Newspaper of the Year category, a judge called the Tower a “clear winner” in a field of excellent competitors.
“This publication did not seek to be a mini-New York Times, but rather to be a paper that focused on issues germane to the audience, the campus and the faith that binds them,” the judge wrote. “[The Tower] was a perfect example of what can happen when journalists use strong skills and have a great sense of what matters to the readership.”
Tower co-editor Melody Siebenmann was named Reporter of the Year and co-editor Jocelyn Waters received Designer of the Year for their contributions to the newspaper. The 2019 Carillon yearbook, of which Siebenmann was also editor, received honorable mention for Yearbook of the Year.
“It feels amazing to be part of our program. Despite being small in number, we are able to achieve great things,” said co-editor and Designer of the Year junior Jocelyn Waters. “We are a tight-knit family and family doesn’t like to let each other down.”
This year 11 colleges and universities across the state competed.
“I am proud of every single person who did a story or contributed in any shape or form, and I am happy they can see that they have award-worthy skills,” said Siebenmann, who was also named Newspaper Editor of the Year for 2018.
The awards were extra special for Siebenmann as it was her senior year and last ACMA contest.
“After being an editor for the yearbook and newspaper, it’s been a good run,” said Siebenmann. “I loved every second of it and it challenged me as a person.”
Although it was an honor to receive the awards, Siebenmann said it was bittersweet to not be with the staff during the celebration; however, the joy is still felt.
“At the end of the day, it’s been a pleasure to work for the Tower Media and to see so many other students really grow in their skills and in their character,” said Siebenmann.
CBC general excellence winners included:
· Newspaper of the Year
First place: The Tower, Melody Siebenmann and Jocelyn Waters, co-editors
· Newspaper Reporter of the Year
First place: Melody Siebenmann, The Tower
· Designer of the Year
First place: Jocelyn Waters, The Tower
· Yearbook of the Year
Honorable mention: The Carillon, Melody Siebenmann, editor
Individual awards went to:
2019 Carillon Yearbook
· Cover – Melody Siebenmann, first place
· Endsheets – Melody Siebenmann, first place
· Closing – “Worship,” Melody Siebenmann, second place
· Academics Photo – “How It All Works,” Emilee Brown, second place
· Sports Writing – “Got Game?” Coby Harvison, second place
· Introduction/Opening – “Worship,” Melody Siebenmann, third place
· Writing/Organization – “Raise an Allelujah,” Coby Harvison, third place
· Feature Photo – “Competitive Dominance,” Haley Lingenfelter, honorable mention
· Sports Photo – “Striker,” Marcela Bueno, honorable mention
· Sports Writing – “Game On,” Rachel Burns, honorable mention
· Student Life Writing – “Out in the Sun,” Melody Siebenmann, honorable mention
· Headline – “Would You Like Fries with That?” Jessica Sawyer, first place
· Feature Writing – “Graduate Jake Tyson signs with Ambassador,” Jessica Sawyer, first place
· Meeting/speech Coverage – “Celebrating Christian-Centered Higher Education at Shine His Light Gala,” Melody Siebenmann, first place
· Entertainment Review – “Create Your Story: D&D Campaigns Spring Up Around Campus,” Jessica Sawyer, first place
· Headline – “Hurdling Towards Nationals,” Melody Siebenmann, second place
· Newswriting – “Love Learning for the Sake of Learning,” Haley Lingenfelter, second place
· News photo – “The Debut of 2019 Hall Wars,” Hannah London, third place
· Multimedia package – “Memory Lane Monday: Hay Days Through the Years,” Jessica Sawyer, honorable mention
· Editorial Cartoon – “Roe v. Wade,” Rachel Burns, first place
· Headline – “Cloudy with a Chance of Life: Reaching Out to Those Who Feel Suicidal,” Tower
staff, first place
· Front Page Layout – March 8 issue, “Overcoming Sexual Addiction,” Jocelyn Waters, first place
· Editorial Page Layout – October 18 issue, “Halloween: Spooky or Sacrilegious?” Jocelyn Waters, first place
· General Column – “When Life Slams on the Brakes,” Melody Siebenmann, third place
· Sports Story – “Lady Mustangs Overcome,” Eli McAlister, third place
· Art/Photo Illustration – “From Blackboard to Whiteboard,” Haley Lingenfelter, honorable mention
· Sports Page Layout – March 8 issue, “Hitting for Home,” Jocelyn Waters, honorable mention
· Sports Photo – “Lady Mustangs Overcome,” Haley Lingenfelter, honorable mention
· Best Radio Newscast – “Mustang Informative,” Oct. 15, Eli McAlister and Jessica Sawyer, first place
· Best Radio Newscast – “Mustang Informative,” Oct. 1, Eli McAlister and Jessica Sawyer, second place
· Best Radio Newscast – “Mustang Informative,” Nov. 5, Eli McAlister and Jessica Sawyer, third place
Tower Media 2019 leadership included Melody Siebenmann and Jocelyn Waters, Tower co-editors; Jessica Sawyer, Tower Web editor; Haley Lingenfelter, photo editor; Abigail Lowery, video editor; Elliot Bender and Eli McAlister, Tower Radio station managers, and Melody Siebenmann, Carillon yearbook editor.