Student newspaper earns national recognition

By Cheryl Jones
University News Service
June 5, 2007

The University Star, the student newspaper at Texas State University-San Marcos, has been nationally recognized at the prestigious Society of Professional Journalists’ 2006 Mark of Excellence Awards.

The Star did well at the Houston event, competing against student journalists from Oklahoma and Texas state universities and colleges in region eight. The Star nabbed first in several categories: General column writing, editorial cartooning, sports photography, editorial writing, best all-around non-daily newspaper as well as overall general excellence. The win in overall general excellence advanced the Star to the national finals, although it did not place.

Bob Bajackson, director of student publications at Texas State, said he was pleased with the university’s showing at the contest.

“It was kind of exciting because this was the first time we ever competed in SPJ,” Bajackson said. “It costs a lot and we just didn’t have the money to enter into the competition. But, the school of journalism paid our entry fee this year so it was great.”

Lori Bergen, professor and director for the school of journalism and mass communication, said sponsoring the newspaper was a solid investment in the future.

“Our students do spectacular work at the Star,” Bergen said. “It was an easy thing to do with great potential for recognition of the fine work our students do at the Star.”

Kym Fox, a senior lecturer for the school of journalism and co-sponsor of Texas State’s SPJ chapter, attended the event and viewed the Star’s success first hand.

“I’ve noticed that the Star has been improving, so I could tell the newspaper really had a chance at the competition,” Fox said. “I thought it would be wise for us to enter, and they did very well. I think we should be proud. It shows that our level of journalism continues to grow at Texas State.”