stories | Students

Empire State Tribune Receives Awards for Outstanding Journalism

November 12, 2018 | Michael Napoli

The King’s College congratulates the Empire State Tribune, the independent student-run news publication at King’s, for winning several Pinnacle Awards from the College Media Association. The Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in various categories such as writing, photography, and visual design. The contest is held annually, and is open to student-run college media organizations from across the country. The 2017-18 winners from King’s are as follows:

Best Photo Package, Second Place: “The Messiahsez Returns to Brooklyn” by Wes Parnell (PPE ’19). Wes said,

Winning the second place Pinnacle Award in the photo competition was great, but more than anything, it brought with it an overwhelming amount of gratitude–to Paul Glader, Clemente Lisi, Peter Freeby, and the EST, to Jess and Bernadette, my editors, and to The King’s College Media Lab that let me rent my first camera. It’s all about loving what you do, loving people, and loving stories. It’s hard sometimes when you get busy and tired, but winning these awards reminded me how important journalism is and how beautiful it is to tell a story.

Best Breaking News Story, First Place: “Calm after the Storm: New Yorkers Respond to the Deadliest Terrorist Attack in New York City Since 9/11” by Jessica Mathews (Business Management ’18). Mathews was the managing editor and editor-in-chief of EST during her senior year at King’s. Mathews said,

This was the first story that put me entirely out of my comfort zone. Being there, being on scene, asking questions, even writing the story. Everything about it was hard, and if I’m being honest, I wasn’t very good at it. I was inexperienced, and my questions could have been more sensitive. My writing could have been more thorough. I was surprised when it was selected as a finalist for the award, because it’s not a story I look at as an accomplishment, but a learning experience that taught me how I needed to, and could, be a better journalist.

People say journalism is the first draft of history. I think it’s also the first reminder to think about why any of it matters in the first place–to the reader, and the author.

Best Social Media Main Page, Third Place: the EST Twitter page. This Design Pinnacle was awarded for the work of this year’s EST editor-in-chief Bernadette Berdychowski (JCS ’19) and Jessica Mathews. Berdychowski also gave credit to Peter Freeby (MCA ’15) for his advice on designing the Twitter page.

Berdychowski said of winning the awards, “The Empire State Tribune has grown tremendously as a powerful voice on The King’s College campus and beyond, which I could not be more proud of. The Pinnacle Awards verified that our work toward pursuing truth and crafting stories has value and encourages us to continue doing what we’re doing and more. It’s great.”

Parnell’s photography was further recognized by his peers at the National College Media Convention in Louisville, Ky., held from October 25-28. His photo of a city worker cleaning up trash was voted Class Favorite.

Wes Parnell’s photo of a city worker cleaning up trash was voted Class Favorite at the National College Media Convention in Louisville, Ky., held from October 25-28. Used with permission.

Last June, Berdychowski and Mathews were each named as finalists for the Religious News Association’s 2018 Chandler Award, which recognizes excellence in student religion reporting.

Berdychowski added, “None of this could have been made possible without the support of Professor Paul Glader, Clemente Lisi and our journalism program associate Peter Freeby. Every single day they push us to be better than the day before and they really are the life and spirit of the program that transformed some plain college kids into extraordinary journalists.”

Paul Glader, Wes Parnell, Bernadette Berdychowski
L-R: Prof. Paul Glader, associate professor of journalism and director of the McCandlish Phillips Journalism Institute; Wes Parnell (PPE ’19); Bernadette Berdychowski (JCS ’19).