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Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communication Wraps Record-Breaking Year with Weekend Wins

Loyola press release - July 19, 2015

Fourteen 2015 Excellence in Journalism Awards received by Loyola student journalists on Saturday

It’s been a record-breaking and eye-opening―some would say jaw-dropping―year for Loyola University New Orleans’ School of Mass Communication. Weekend wins at the 57th Annual Excellence in Journalism Awards ceremony hosted by the Press Club of New Orleans pushed the total number of prizes won by Loyola undergraduates this year to the highest number seen in the last quarter-century or more.

“I’m so very proud of our students and the faculty who have worked so diligently to ensure student success,” Sonya Duhé, director and professor at Loyola’s School of Mass Communication, said following the weekend wins. “This is once again a testament to our commitment to excellence in the School of Mass Communication at Loyola New Orleans.”

During the 2014-2015 academic year, Loyola undergraduate students in journalism, advertising and public relations brought home a whopping 79 coveted awards. Sixty-seven of those awards were garnered by The Maroon, Loyola’s beloved 93-year-old student newspaper. On Saturday, Loyola student journalists proudly took home 14 Excellence in Journalism awards from the Press Club. The wins, which included four first place awards, are especially dear, said Loyola Student Media adviser and instructor Michael Giusti ‘00, M.B.A. ‘12. To achieve them, Loyola students competed against both fellow students and professional journalists.

“The Press Club of New Orleans’ annual Excellence in Journalism awards are special for us, because we don't compete in a college category,” Giusti said. “We're going up against the pros. I am so proud of our students and their accomplishments.”

The Maroon brought home 11 prizes from the Press Club event, Giusti said, while Loyola Student News Service, launched last fall in partnership with The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com, took home three. All of the prizes placed Loyola students among the top three in their respective categories.

A grand total of 67 awards garnered by the newspaper and its staff marks the 2014-2015 academic year as “the winning-est year The Maroon has ever had,” Giusti said.

This year, The Maroon, which in 2015 operates as a multimedia news operation delivered through digital, print and broadcast media, was named by The Princeton Review as one of the “Top Five College Newspapers” in the U.S. The student newspaper was also named "All American" for the second consecutive year by the Associated Collegiate Press, who gave the student newspaper its highest ranking, with five marks of distinction. The Maroon was also awarded a “Collegiate Gold Crown,” the highest honor given annually by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association to college publications.

In June, The Maroon also took home a round of awards from the 2015 Louisiana/Mississippi Associated Press Media Editors Contest and the Louisiana Press Association's Better Newspaper Competition. One of those honors was the top prize from the Louisiana Press Association, which recognized The Maroon as the top college newspaper in its general excellence category. The student newspaper beat similar newspapers from larger universities―Louisiana State, Louisiana Tech, Southeastern Louisiana and Mississippi’s Delta State―and took home the highest number of prizes.

In April, The Maroon won 12 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists in their regional competition. And in March, The Maroon was ranked the second best college newspaper in the Southeastern Journalism Conference’s collegiate journalism competition.

But that’s not all.

Alongside The Maroon’s crowning achievements―and the three professional prizes picked up Saturday by Loyola Student News Service―Loyola strategic communications students won big.

Public relations and advertising students brought home three Addy Awards this year from the Advertising Club of New Orleans. And, they earned their ninth championship title at the Public Relations Students Society of America’s annual Bateman Case Study Competition. Loyola has won more Bateman championships than any other communication program in the U.S.