Newspaper racks up accolades at annual GSPA awards ceremony

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Melissa Sagaseta

The GSPA award ceremony brought together 18 schools to celebrate journalistic success. GSPA awarded certain individuals for exceeding in various disciplines.

Anabel Prince, Copy editor

The NC staffers of the nationally awarded news website, The Chant, attended the annual Georgia Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony, racking up eleven accolades on Thursday, April 14. GSPA hosted the event in partnership with The Henry W. Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of Georgia’s own Classic Center.

Of all the honors won, the highest bestowed upon the publication stood the Superior News Website award. Other awards include junior Bethel Mamo for Superior Photo Essay, senior Fatima Elfakahany for Superior Feature Photograph and Superior News Photograph, junior Nadia Butt for Superior Infographic, sophomore Nadya Awino for Superior Sports Photograph, junior Kat Shambaugh for All Georgia Commentary and Superior News Story, senior Riley O’Neill for All Georgia Editorial Cartoon, senior Adam Kovel for Superior New Story and a shared award for Elfakahany and Shambaugh for Superior Opposing Viewpoints Column.

The Chant staffers (L to R: junior Caroline Long, junior Michael Smith, junior Dylan Kellos, senior Andrew Lubbers, junior Emmett Schindler, junior Kat Shambaugh, senior Adam Kovel, adviser Lindsay Kovel, senior Anabel Prince, senior Riley O'Neill, junior Philip Wynne, junior Melissa Sagaseta, and junior Autumn Boekeloo) display their awards.

Melissa Sagaseta
The Chant staffers (L to R: junior Caroline Long, junior Michael Smith, junior Dylan Kellos, senior Andrew Lubbers, junior Emmett Schindler, junior Kat Shambaugh, senior Adam Kovel, adviser Lindsay Kovel, senior Anabel Prince, senior Riley O’Neill, junior Philip Wynne, junior Melissa Sagaseta, and junior Autumn Boekeloo) display their awards.

O’Neill, who began as a reporter, photographer, and political cartoonist just this semester, felt surprised regarding her win, considering she started cartooning in January. 

“It was amazing. I was honestly so shocked, like my jaw legitimately dropped, because I just thought I would be attending the ceremony to support everybody who’s been on staff forever, like all the pros,” O’Neill said. “I could not have done that and tried something so new as cartooning to me, and actually worked hard enough to become successful at it, if I hadn’t had the support of our amazing staff. I never would have been brave enough to try that had it been with another group.”

Such veteran newsies, such as features editor Shambaugh, won three awards at the ceremony. “I was super excited because I actually forgot what we sent in, and the first one I won was Superior News Story, and they were talking about all these stories and all of the headlines were like super interesting new stories, and they said my name and it was really funny because everyone at the table went [gasp] like ‘oh my god! That’s one of us!’,” Shambaugh said.

The event acted as a great bout to compete with fellow student publications, whether online or print.

“I think it’s just so exciting to see so many students who are passionate about journalism, and it makes me have a renewed faith in the future of journalism because these kids keep testing the potential of themselves as writers and photographers and creators and editors,” adviser Lindsay Kovel said. “I’m just so excited to see other schools that I’m friends with and that I look up to get recognized for great things as well see our kids get recognition.”