At the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) conference this year, the hard work and dedication the University Journal exerts was rewarded as members of the staff were honored, including the late Nisha Hood. Hood, who tragically passed away this February, was honored for her feature writing at the event.
Whitney Baum, editor-in-chief at the Journal, won the region awards in breaking news photography and breaking news reporting. The Journal also won regional awards for best affiliated website and editorial writing. Baum, who has been editor-in-chief for the past two years, said she was proud of her staff for the awards they received at the event.
“I think it shows our dedication to SUUNews and the University Journal students who comprise our staff," she said. “I hope they see the award as a motivator to keep doing what they’re doing and keep getting better at it.”
This is a huge accomplishment for the Journal, as there were seven other universities from Utah, Colorado and New Mexico in competition at the conference.
In regards to Hood's posthumous honor, Baum said, “she was one of the most amazing writers we had at the Journal, surpassing me most of the time.”
Hood wrote a feature story about the alumnus Josh Smith, which Baum said was “one of the best feature articles we have published since I have been working at the Journal.”
“When we lost Nisha, we lost a huge part of our news room,” Baum said. “She was a family member and so this is a nice reminder of her and her incredible work with us. This was a great way to honor her.”
Baum also mentioned that SPJ is a great opportunity for students who are looking to fine tune their media skills. The organization is a great opportunity for journalists and writers to get recognized and gain more confidence in their writing abilities.
All of the SPJ region award winners are now up for consideration in the national awards. The national convention will be held in September in Nashville, Tenn.
SPJ is one of the oldest organizations representing journalists in the United States. The organization was formed in April of 1909.