By Allison McCourt ’13
Fairfield University’s own independent student newspaper was awarded second place in the category of “Best Newspaper with fewer than 5,000 students at a four-year school” by the College Media Association (CMA). The hard work and dedication of the entire Mirror staff paid off at the Annual CMA Spring Conference for college journalists, held on March 12 and attended by a dozen Mirror staffers.
CMA has been working since 1954 to help student media professionals improve their media operations by working with professional organizations and education associations on local, state, and national levels. The national organization has provided the University with reason to celebrate their publications. After placing third last year in the same category, Fairfield improved in the rankings to take second place this year.
“We have taken a good newspaper and turned it into a great one, in my opinion. And it seems that the College Media Association agrees,” stated Martin O’Sullivan ’13, a communication major and the outgoing editor-in-chief of The Mirror. “Everything The Mirror was able to accomplish in the past year is due to the hard work of its entire staff, and I’m very happy they are being recognized for it.”
O’Sullivan expects only great accomplishments from the student newspaper in years to come. “In terms of the future, there is no one better to lead the newspaper forward than Loan Le. I expect that under her direction The Mirror will get first place in every possible category next year, both at the Apple Awards and elsewhere.”
“I believe that Martin’s leadership and the staff’s hard work made it possible for us to win this award. Now the staff has the opportunity to achieve greater goals and win more awards,” said Loan Le ’14, an English major with a concentration in journalism and who has been the new editor-in-chief of The Mirror. “I am so excited to see what’s in store for us next year.”
“It might be the new staff or it might be the knowledge that we’d won such an award, but I definitely notice an energy in the office that is so much more pronounced,” she said. “The editors and writers are enthusiastic when they come in, they have great ideas, and I believe they’ll be able to bring their ideas to life.”
The Mirror currently publishes weekly issues throughout the semester and has recently redesigned the print and online editions. “The timing of this award cannot be better as The Mirror staff is making a concerted yet somewhat painstaking endeavor to shift the publication’s focus to online,” said Lei (Tommy) Xie, assistant professor of English at the University and faculty advisor of The Mirror. “While it offered a delightful reflective moment, the award will undoubtedly inspire much enthusiasm and creativity in the newsroom running at full speed.”
“We want the paper to truly reflect Fairfield University. We want more readers and we also want them to feel like they can communicate with us,” said Le about the future of the paper. “There have always been opportunities for The Mirror, but after coming back from the CMA convention, we’ve realized how capable we are of taking advantages of such opportunities. There’s a sense that there is no going back – we can only move forward from here. There’s no doubt that we will do exactly that.”
The David L. Adams Apple Awards are nationally recognized and given as the “Best of Show” awards at the annual CMA Spring Conference held in New York City. The awards are in honor of David L. Adams, a longtime College Media Advisors advocate and advisor at Indiana University who passed away in 2007.
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