VCU student-run newspaper takes home 13 VPA awards

The Commonwealth Times, the student-run newspaper at Virginia Commonwealth University, won 13 awards, including a grand prize sweepstakes award for overall excellence in news at the Virginia Press Association's annual meeting.

The newspaper collected nine first-place VPA awards for feature story writing, sports coverage, page design, general makeup, graphics, illustrations, photography and more.

"It's for everything – design, photography, writing," said Gregory O. Weatherford, student media director. "This just kind of shows the depth of talent at the university all across the curriculum."

The paper also took home the sweepstakes award for receiving the highest number of points in the small nondaily newspaper category, beating out a number of professional news organizations across Virginia.

It was the first year The Commonwealth Times competed against professional media outlets in the annual contest rather than against other college newspapers.

"To not only enter as a professional publication, but to win their category was a big deal," Weatherford said.

The full list of VPA awards for The Commonwealth Times is below.

·  Informational graphics: Sam Wittwer (first place)

·  General news photo: Zoe Dehmer (first place)

·  Personality or portrait photo: Mark Robinson (first place)

·  Photo-illustration: Chris Conway, Mechelle Hankerson, Ryan Murphy, Mark Robinson (first place)

·  General makeup: Staff (first place)

·  Lifestyle or entertainment pages: Staff (third place)

·  Page design: Sam Wittmer (first place)

·  Special sections or special editions: Staff (second place)

·  Sports pages: Staff (first place)

·  Feature story writing: Mark Robinson (first place)

·  Sports column writing: Colin Kennedy (second place)

·  Illustrations: Dan Nacu (first place)


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