The Beacon takes top awards in college journalism competition

Student Activities

April 20, 2017

The Beacon, the University of Portland student newspaper, recently won six First Place awards, including Best Digital-Only Student Publication, in the regional Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Mark of Excellence competition for college journalism.

The Mark of Excellence Awards entries are judged by professionals with at least three years of journalism experience. The winners in the regional competition advance to the national competition. The national winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism conference in Anaheim, California, in September.

The Beacon was awarded regional first place in the following categories:


Best Digital-only Student Publication – (The Beacon staff)

Online News Reporting- “Portland shark attack survivor begins to pick up the pieces” (Rachel Rippetoe)

Small university (9,999 or fewer undergraduates):

General News Reporting – “Disconnected: Black students on The Bluff feel they don’t belong” (Malika Andrews)

Feature Writing-  “Students dig up American’s racist past” (Jenna Rossiter, Clare Duffy)

Breaking News Photography-  “Champions at last” (Annika Gordon)

Feature Photography- “Snowpocalypse” (Annika Gordon)

The Beacon was also a regional finalist (Second or Third Place) in the following categories:

Breaking News Reporting (Clare Duffy, Hannah Baade)

In-depth Reporting (Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews, Rachel Rippetoe, Annika Gordon)

Sports Writing (Malika Andrews)

Best Use of Multimedia (Cheyenne Schoen, Jeff Braccia)

Online News Reporting (Clare Duffy,Hannah Baade)

Online In-depth Reporting (Clare Duffy, Malika Andrews, Rachel Rippetoe, Hannah Baade, Jenna Rossiter)

The Mark of Excellence Awards for Region 10 included student media entries from colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. School divisions are based on student enrollment, including both graduate and undergraduate: Large schools have at least 10,000 students and small schools have 9,999 or fewer students.

Judges were directed to choose entries they felt were among the best in student journalism. If no entry rose to the level of excellence, no award was given. Any category not listed has no winner.

Read the complete regional contest results at

About The Beacon
The Beacon has been the student voice of the University of Portland since 1935, and is a rich campus tradition. In Fall 2016, The Beacon became an all-digital hyperlocal publication focused UP-centric news, features, sports, opinion, faith issues and multimedia. The Beacon, which is entirely produced and managed by student journalists, provides a forum within which students, faculty members and UP alumni engage in free and responsible public dialogue on a wide variety of public issues, as well as campus-related topics.

In recent years, The Beacon has won many journalism awards from several organizations including the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), College Media Association, Associated Collegiate Press, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.


University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97203-5798