On November 1, at the National College Media Convention in Washington, D.C., The King’s College’s independent student paper the Empire State Tribune won second place in the “Best Column” category in the 2018-19 Pinnacle Awards from the College Media Association. The award-winning column was the “Tech Talk” series written by Jackson Fordyce (BUS ’20). That same day, in front of the entire convention, Shannon Reed Mason (JCS ’20) was honored with the opportunity to interview Washington Post editor Marty Baron on stage.
Fordyce and Mason traveled to D.C. along with several others from King’s, including Jillian Cheney (JCS ’20) and journalism faculty Paul Glader, Clemente Lisi, and Terry Mattingly. Hosted by the College Media Association and the Associated Collegiate Press, the National College Media Convention ran October 31 through November 3 and included notable keynote speakers, networking opportunities, informative panel discussions, hands-on tutorials, and access to media professionals. The award ceremony on November 1 featured 3,407 total individual category entries from 246 colleges and universities across the country.
Fordyce’s “Tech Talk” column comprised four articles, including “Politicians Go After Amazon and Facebook: Regulations Proposed,” and “Should Google Be Paying You?” After receiving second place among all submitted college media columns in the nation, Fordyce said, “I’m really thankful that I received an award for something I love to write about, and the fact that I get to share it with my friends who are here made it that much more meaningful.”
Mason, who is editor in chief of the Empire State Tribune, along with another student journalist who is editor of the student newspaper at the University of Iowa, was chosen to interview Baron on stage after submitting an application describing why she would be best for the job. She said, “Apparently there were a lot of applicants, so when I was chosen, I was really excited.” Baron achieved heightened prominence after being portrayed by Lieb Schreiber in the film Spotlight (2015), which won an Academy Award for Best Picture.
One of Mason’s questions to Baron asked how journalists can continue to do deep investigative reporting in an ever-quickening technological world. She also asked what young journalists should expect after college. At one point, Baron responded to one of Mason’s questions starting with, “I haven’t heard that question before.”
Mason said later that she had hoped to ask unique questions and was very pleased to have asked a new question to an editor who has likely been interviewed hundreds of times. After the Q&A with Baron, Mason said that going into the interview in front of hundreds of other student journalists, she had “felt extremely nervous because this editor has been such an inspiration to me over the years.” After meeting and interviewing Baron, Mason said that the experience renewed her passion for writing stories that matter.
Last year at the College Media Association Awards, EST photographer Wes Parnell (PPE ’19) was awarded second for Best Photo Package, Editor-in-Chief Jessica Matthews (Business Management ’18) was awarded first in Best Breaking News Story, and Bernadette Berdychowski (JCS ’19) was awarded third in Best Social Media Main Page.
At this year’s conference, Prof. Glader was named one of three Distinguished Advisers for 4-year college newspapers nationwide for his work advising the Empire State Tribune since 2013, helping develop and mentor student journalists and the news outlet during that time. Glader, Lisi, and Mattingly also each spoke at the conference in sessions for student journalists.
The King’s College is pleased to congratulate Fordyce, Reed, and their faculty advisors for the recognition they received this weekend and commends them for their dedication to journalism.