2022 MNA College Better Newspaper Contest

Investigative Reporting ( 2 Year College/University,4 Year College/University) Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: The Clarion
    Entry Title: Sexual assault and harassment cases underreported on campus
    Entry Credit: Morgan Day, Soraya Keiser
    Judge Comment: This was a solidly done and well-organized story. I liked the use of quotes and personal examples, and the explanation of resources available. I really give points for finding a student who would speak and be quoted by name. Harassment is a huge issue and while we are away from the days of, go on a date and see what he is like, it is still not taken seriously. Great work!
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: The Record (CSB-SJU)
    Entry Title: Reports surface of 'sex competition' in Patrick Hall
    Entry Credit: Will Schwinghammer
    Judge Comment: well organized and good handling of the topic. but where are student leaders and why couldn't one of them have been quoted by name? Are there no student body government leaders or leaders in campus groups combatting sexual violence? that would add credibility IMO
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: MSU/Mankato - The Reporter
    Entry Title: Accessibility issues tied to MavPODs on campus
    Entry Credit: Jenna Peterson
    Judge Comment: Good but I'd have had the MSU statement closer to the top of the story. I'd also like to see comments from students with disabilities and from a disability services office staff member. It's great that able-boidied folks think of us (I live with disabilities) but I'd like to see a comment or two from someone directly affected. Be direct - it's wheelchairs, scooters and walkers that cannot access these pods. Say that. I also just dislike saying "explained" instead of "said." But that wasn't a factor here.
  • Competition Comment: For the category, I would like to see more sources in what are considered to be investigative stories. Some of these needed to be in a news category. Some stories drew predominantly on a single source, and would have been greatly improved with even a few more calls or emails to expand on what is happening. It’s OK to seek germane quotes from outside of a campus. It adds so much context to a story. There are so many regional and national groups now on an array of issues and those groups can be drawn on for context. The beauty of advocacy groups is that folks LIKE to be quoted. Whether those quotes are useful is up to you as the reporter. I also really, really dislike anonymous sources. If you have to use them, find a campus student leader (student body president? someone who leads an organization related to what’s going on?) for a quote that can be attributed. Story organization was also an issue for me. Even if an institution is offering the usual lame no comment kind of quote, put that up in the story and not at the end. Watch word usage. Toward, not towards, for example. I also dislike substitutes for said. Focus on what people said and not embellishing upon how they said it. The winning stories emerged from the pack because they had more sources, were well-written and well-organized, and held reader interested. But all could have been improved upon.