April 08, 2003 — Over the weekend the staff of The Daily Utah Chronicle, the University of Utah’s student newspaper, garnered 24 Mark of Excellence awards in the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Region 9 competition. The Chronicle received individual honors in the news, sports, column writing, student magazine and photography categories. Chronicle editor Jeremy Harmon, News Editor Sheena McFarland and Assistant Photo Editor Lonny Danler accepted the awards at the annual SPJ Region 9 Conference, held at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. The competition takes place among student newspapers from Colorado, New Mexico, West Texas, Wyoming and Utah, and first-place winners advance to the national competition.
“I am pleased for the students at the University of Utah who performed so well in the SPJ Region 9 Mark of Excellence competition,” notes Paul Husselbee, Region 9 SPJ director. “College journalism is a competitive proposition in our state and in our region, and the U students’ performance in this prestigious competition speaks well of the University of Utah journalism program and of The Daily Utah Chronicle.”
Harmon, a 29-year-old communication major and photojournalist, is proud of his staff of 60. “This year we had a core group with experience, but the majority of the staff were new so we saw this as a rebuilding year. But, if we can win this number of awards, think what we can do with an even more experienced staff,” he notes, adding that one of the real strengths of The Chronicle is the great diversity that exists among its editors and reporters. “Diversity in the news room is very important. We are one of the most diverse groups of students on campus. We’ve got the diversity thing nailed,” says Harmon, who, over the academic year, supervised 10 student editors.
Harmon was especially pleased with a photo essay on the one-year anniversary of Sept. 11th as well as another article on the student code.
Although still college students, Chronicle staff members have had their work featured in local as well as prestigious national publications, including TIME, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report and The New York Times. In addition, their work has appeared on Larry King Live, 48 Hours, ABC News Nightline and ESPN.