The Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) was hosted by Georgia State Feb. 26 – 27, 2015. This is the second time in history the conference has been hosted by Georgia State. The conference has a mission of encouraging greater interest in student journalism and creating closer ties among journalism schools in the Southeast of the United States.
Competing against the largest universities in the Southeast, The Signal received 15 awards including four first place wins. The Signal also won awards in the top categories at SEJC.
Ciara Frisbie, The Signal’s News Editor, won the top award of Best College Journalist of the Year. In conjunction, Frisbie also received a $1,000 prize for winning first. Second place winner received $500 and third place winner received $250.
“I’m very proud of Ciara for winning the award. When she came into her role as news editor at The Signal, she hit the ground running with her investigative work on the GSU-GPB partnership over at WRAS,” The Signal’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Yang said. “Since then, she’s been going headstrong. There’s no one else who deserves it more than Ciara.”
The Signal also won second place for Best College Website and eighth place for Best College Newspaper. Frisbie said it’s amazing to see how much the staff’s hard work and dedication can pay off.
“It’s not just about winning the awards. It’s also about being able to bring this award back and showing the school and the other winners who work at The Signal what great things you can accomplish as a student journalist,” Frisbie said. “You shouldn’t be hindered just by the fact that you’re a student. You’re not just a student. You’re an actual journalist and you do make an impact on your community, your audience, and those who are around you, and that’s probably the most important thing about winning this award.”
Other first place winners at SEJC include:
- Anna Yang for Best Advertising Staff Member
- Emily Lasher for Best Newspaper Page Layout Designer
- Maddie Richardson for Best Magazine Page Layout Designer
Additionally, other Signal staff winners include:
- Maddie Richardson in Best News Graphic Designer – Second Place
- Samantha Reardon in Best Public Service Journalism – Third Place
- Ami Dudley in Best Opinion/Editorial Writer – Third Place
- Akiem Bailum in Best TV Hard News Reporter (for GSTV) – Fifth Place
- Johnny Gipson in Best Arts and Entertainment Writer – Sixth Place
- Zoya Hasnain Best News Writer – Seventh Place
- Alec McQuade in Best Sports Writer – Eighth Place
- Leah Jordan in Best Feature Writer – Eighth Place
- Candra Umunna in Best Press Photographer – 10th Place
SEJC brought over an estimated 150 student attendees, with several schools competing in 15 categories for the onsite competitions. The full list of winners will be posted on the official SEJC website at a later time.
Assistant Director for Student Media and 2015 SEJC President Dr. Bryce McNeil said he was satisfied with the turnout of the conference.
“Given the circumstances of some schools’ travel situations, I couldn’t be any happier with how it went,” McNeil said. “Our mission was to have a plethora of learning opportunities and to show our visitors all around downtown. I think we did that.”
Yang was also the 2015 SEJC student president. The Signal will put out six more print issues to conclude the spring semester.