When it rains it pours.
The Free Press recently won three awards at a regional conference in Boston. Just over a month ago, the paper brought back five awards from a national convention in New York.
The Boston conference, sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Associated Press, judged college publications from Pennsylvania, New York and New England on various news and photo categories.
Executive Editor Liza Watts said she didn’t expect to win anything at the conference.
“I was a little bit surprised because this conference is a lot more competitive,” she said.
“We compete against larger and more prestigious schools like Yale and Emerson.”
Three different staff members were recognized.
News Editor Steve Peoples won second place in the General News category for his piece titled, “Students Right to Vote in Jeopardy.”
Staff Writer Chris Baker won third place in the Investigative News category for his story, “Police staffing shortage affects campus security.”
In the first award The Free Press has won this year for photography, former Photo Editor Sherry Whittemore won third place in the General News category for her photo, “Begathon is on.”
“Three different people won in Boston and five completely different people won in New York,” said Watts. “That says that the entire staff is very talented, everyone’s contributing.”
This year’s success has come as a surprise to many.
“USM doesn’t even have a journalism major,” said Watts. “I think we do have a great publication, but we don’t have the same resources as some bigger schools.”
Watts said the awards give The Free Press credibility.
“I hope that more students on campus will see it as a great learning experience and use it as a resource for their careers,” said Watts. “We really have something to offer.”
News Editor Steve Peoples can be contacted at: [email protected]