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News & Stories: 2008-09

Les Jacques de Chimes brings home the prizeOctober 15, 2008

Michigan Press Association logoThis isn’t the first time the Chimes staff has won awards from the Michigan Press Association; it’s just the first time it’s won so many. The team of students publishing Chimes during the 2007-08 school year brought home a record 11 awards for their work.

In Division II as a campus newspaper that publishes weekly, Chimes competed for awards in 19 different categories, receiving recognition for reporting, writing, design, photography and general excellence.

Former managing editor, senior Christy Gordon, and former editor-in-chief Kathy Hoogeboom ’08 were pleased with the results from the year Chimes was published under their leadership.

"When I told Kathy the news, she said what I'd already been thinking: ‘It feels good to be recognized,’” said Gordon. “I believe that she and I, and the whole of the staff, did exceptional work last year, and I'm glad that the MPA agrees.”

The highest honor Chimes received from the MPA was first-place standing for their special “Green Issue” published on April 25, 2008. The themed issue focused on the environment and included an open letter requesting that a representative from Calvin’s administration attend the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment Leadership Summit in June, 2008.

Signatures collected in the "Green Issue" of Chimes

Hundreds of signatures from Calvin students were collected and published across the bottom of each page in the award-winning "Green Issue" of Chimes.

The MPA recognized the work put into covering a single topic from multiple points of view in their contest result comments:

"The 'Green Issue' educates about this theme on the macro level as well as at the campus level. Material appears throughout paper and is well marked. Staff also integrates advocacy by urging institution to take a particular step. Interesting concept.”

The Chimes staff was particularly happy to receive an award for the "Green Issue.”

"I think it’s really cool that the category we got first place in was an entire issue that everyone worked on,” said 2008-09 editor-in-chief, senior Sarah States.

States’ co-editor-in-chief, junior Emma Slager, agreed:

"The Green Issue was great. There was a whole lot of creativity in terms of how we covered things, just realizing the overlap in sections which we don’t always see. …And involving the whole community in signatures for a petition that ran across the bottom—we put a lot of work into that.”

Other awards included an honorable mention for the newspaper’s general excellence, a second place in the news photo category for an image taken by junior Aaron Roorda of the February gas explosion in the Eastown neighborhood, and two second-place awards for writing and design in a feature section about a community theatre project led by Calvin communications arts and sciences professor Stephanie Sandberg.

Chimes faculty advisor, political science professor Simona Goi, was glad the newspaper staff’s hard work paid off.

"I was delighted to find out that Chimes did so well in the MPA's college newspaper contest. I think this is a well-deserved recognition of the dedication and creativity of Chimes staff,” said Goi.

It bodes well, Slager said, that nearly all of the award-winning writers, designers and photographers on staff last year continued on with Chimes for the 2008-09 school year.

"We have a really strong editorial staff this year,” she said.

The 2008-09 Chimes staff

The 2008-09 Chimes staff, also knows as Les Jacques de Chimes, after the recent Faculty Fumblers football game.

Slager hopes that with the release of the award results in early October, the current staff will be motivated to keep working hard on the newspaper.

"Right at this time of year when everyone is getting sick and stressed out, it was encouraging to everyone on staff to see that we really are doing good work,” she said.

Other Division II college newspapers receiving recognition included The Pleiad from Albion College, The Collegian from Hillsdale College and The Herald from nearby Cornerstone University.

~by Allison Graff, communications and marketing

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MPA Awards

Deadline Story: Kathy Hogeboom and Katie Sytsema, "Reformed Multi-Culturalism"

Non-Deadline Story: Griffin Jackson, "Riots Force Trip Cancellation"

Feature Story: Emma Slager, "Listening is Key to Dialogue"

Sports News: Chaz Amidon, "Track Retains Command"

Sports Feature: 3rd, Bruce Van Baren, "Holwerda’s Fight On and Off the Field"

Reviews: Christian Ocier, "'Figaro' a Highlight"

Columns: Christy Gordon, "West Michigan 'news'"

News Photo: Aaron Roorda, "Gas Leak Explosion"

Feature page design: Sarah States, October 5 spread (pdf)

General excellence: staff

News special section: staff, "Green Issue"