Campus News Society & Culture

Georgia Scholastic Press Association Awards distributed in UGA ceremony

Athens, Ga. – More than 200 awards recognizing excellence in high school broadcast, yearbook, newspaper and literary magazine journalism were distributed at the 2010 Georgia Scholastic Press Association Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 29, at the University of Georgia Tate Student Center.

More than 500 high school students and their advisers attended the annual event, which was keynoted by Eliott McLaughlin, who has worked for the Walton Tribune, the Associated Press, Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal and is now at He advised the students to be ready to tackle all aspects of journalism-writing, shooting video, taking audio and creating photo slideshows.

“If someone offers to teach you, snatch up the information,” McLaughlin said.

He presented several stories he wrote for and showed how the news team tackled each story with a “mosaic” of text, video, slideshows and news tidbits.

“What would you want to read? Or your mother, or your brother?” McLaughlin asked the students. “We’re addicted to the instant-eity of news now, so keep the angles fresh.”

Caroline McKay, a senior at Grady High School in Atlanta, was named the 2010 Georgia Champion Journalist, the highest honor given to a scholastic journalist. A reporter with Grady’s newspaper The Southerner, McKay has reported on difficult issues such as a high school dropout arrested for a violent crime, how an alleged rape affected her school’s campus and the rising tide of school violence.

In his nomination, McKay’s adviser wrote, “She has skepticism and courage and self-confidence that are rare even in the professional newsrooms where I’ve worked.”

The All-Georgia awards are given to the publications that performed best overall in their areas. The Southerner newspaper of Grady High School (Atlanta) was named the All-Georgia newspaper/newsmagazine. Out of more than 50 newspapers and newsmagazines entered in the state contest, The Southerner demonstrated excellence in news, features and sports coverage, photojournalism, advertising design and page design.

Chrysalis of Chattahoochee High School (Alpharetta) was named the All-Georgia literary magazine. It used the best poems, short stories and photographs of more than 13 publications.

The All-Georgia yearbook award was given to Mnemosyne of Northview High School (Johns Creek). The staff used the best story coverage, photographs, organization and advertising of more than 30 publications.

Among the 200 awards distributed, General Excellence awards were given to the top entries in each school classification. Schools and publications receiving awards include:

Yearbook – Elkins Pointe Middle School (Roswell), The Echo; Dawson County High School (Dawsonville), The Tiger; Dunwoody High School (Dunwoody), Chrysalis; Whitewater High School (Fayetteville), Vision; North Forsyth High School (Cumming), Carpe Diem; and Northview High School (Johns Creek), Mnemosyne.

Literary Magazine – North Hall High School (Gainesville), Triumphs; Clarke Central High School (Athens), Iliad; Chattahoochee High School (Alpharetta), Chrysalis.

Broadcast – Grady High School (Atlanta), GNN

Newspaper – The King’s Academy (Woodstock), The Verve; Henry W. Grady High School (Atlanta), The Southerner; Starr’s Mill High School (Fayetteville), The Prowler;

North Springs High School (Atlanta), The Oracle; Pebblebrook High School (Mableton), BrookSpeak; and Pope High School (Marietta), Greyhound Tracks.

Newsmagazine – Clarke Central High School (Athens), Odyssey; Decatur High School (Decatur), Carpe Diem.

For a complete list of awards, see

Organized in 1928 by UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Georgia Scholastic Press Association assists Georgia high school media programs and students by encouraging the production of quality publications and broadcast programs through instruction and contests. There are 121 GSPA member publications for the 2009-10 school year, representing some 3,000 students across the state.

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to WNEG-TV, the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see or follow Grady on Twitter at