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JMC sweeps six categories in Society of Professional Journalists regional ‘Mark of Excellence’ awards

Posted Apr. 22, 2014

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has announced its 2013 Mark of Excellence (MOE) Award winners from region 4, and JMC students and student media earned six first-place awards and nine finalist placements.

JMC’s six first-place winners will move on to the national MOE competition, with results due later this spring.

SPJ’s region 4 comprises Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and parts of western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh. JMC competes in the large university division in the MOE Awards. Divisions are based on undergraduate and graduate enrollment. Large divisions are universities and colleges with more than 10,000 students.

SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists. Its annual competition honors the best in student journalism as determined by judges who are directed to “choose only those entries which they felt were outstanding work worthy of such an honor.”

“Wow, two first-place finishes for the Stanislaw story — Best Use of Multimedia and Television In-Depth Reporting,” assistant professor and student media adviser Mitch McKenney said in reaction to the wins. “Rex Santus and Jason Kostura did a great job pursuing this story together for their Stater and TV2 audiences, and Rebecca Reis brought it all together on KentWired, so it's gratifying to see their convergence efforts recognized." 

John Butte, coordinator for career services and TV2 faculty adviser, is equally enthusiastic about these regional awards. “I'm am so proud of these students. This recognition for the quality work of our independent student media is inspiring."

JMC regional award winners include:


In-Depth Reporting

First Place:  “KSU declines to renew contract of Professor Richard Stanislaw” by Jason Kostura, TV2

Sports Reporting

First Place: “Roosevelt High School joins Suburban League,” by Gabriel Kramer, TV2

Breaking News Reporting

Finalist: “Ravenna teen dies in car accident with train” by Gabriel Kramer, TV2


Best Use of Multimedia
First Place: “Professor dismissed amid claim he ‘actively misrepresented’ credentials” by Rex Santus and Jason Kostura,



Sports Photography
First Place: “Piling On” by Brian Smith


Best Student Magazine

First Place:  The Burr


Breaking News Reporting

Finalist:  “Lefton announces retirement” by Alicia Balog, Daily Kent Stater

General News Reporting

Finalist: “It couldn’t happen at Chardon” by Alicia Balog, Daily Kent Stater

Sports Writing

Finalist: “The cost of losing a conference title” by Grant Engle, Daily Kent Stater

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper

Finalist:  Daily Kent Stater


Best Affiliated Website



Breaking News Photography

First Place:  “Tornado war zone” by Jacob Byk, Daily Kent Stater

Finalist: “A mother’s grief” by Chelsae Ketchum, Daily Kent Stater

General News Photography

Finalist:  “Secret Syrian Mortar Factory” by Coty Giannelli, Summer Kent Stater

Feature Photography

Finalist: “Shelter from the Storm” by Jacob Byk, The Burr


Rotator Photo:  A photograph from Jacob Byk’s award-winning photo essay, “Tornado war zone.”