By Naidelly Coelho
Asst. News Editor
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) announced the Region 1 winners of the annual Mark of Excellence collegiate journalism contest and three Gatepost members won awards.
“The Mark of Excellence awards honor the best of collegiate journalism,” according to SPJ’s website. “Region 1 is a combination of New England, New York, and the eastern mid-Atlantic states.”
The contest recognized material published during the 2022 calendar year.
The Gatepost was named one of two Region 1 finalists for the Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper for small schools, which have fewer than 10,000 students.
Leighah Beausoleil, editor-in-chief, said she is “very proud” of this accomplishment and The Gatepost has worked “really hard” for this recognition.
Sophia Harris, news editor, won first place for General News Reporting for small schools for her article, “Massachusetts approves bill to allow medication abortion access in public universities.”
She said this article is something that she “deeply” cares about, and that it is really important that the community knows about this new bill.
Harris said she did a lot of research for her article. She researched about the abortion laws and bills for the state.
“There is nothing I enjoy more than working as the news editor on The Gatepost, and winning this award has only furthered my commitment and dedication to providing the Framingham State community with accurate and reliable news,” she said.
Another member of The Gatepost, Associate Editor Emily Rosenberg, is a finalist in Feature Writing for small schools for her article, “The golden era of college radio.”
Her article tells the story of Framingham State’s radio station, WDJM, and celebrates its 50th anniversary. She said alumni, including her own father, created a community through their involvement with the organization.
Rosenberg said she did a lot of preparation to write this article and she reached out to many alumni.
She said she wrote this article knowing only what she knew from being at The Gatepost and a few weeks of taking a journalism class.
“I think getting this award is really cool because it really shows that you can learn a lot from The Gatepost,” Rosenberg said.
Another member of The Gatepost, Opinions Editor McKenzie Ward, won first place for General Column Writing.
This is the second time Ward has been recognized for an SPJ award in this category. She was first recognized by SPJ for columns she published during the 2020 calendar year.
Ward said many of her columns focus on women’s rights - something she really cares about.
“It's really great to see that Framingham State and The Gatepost and our writers are being credited for all the work that they've done over these past couple years,” Ward said.
Beausoleil said, “Winning an SPJ is such a huge accomplishment and it's something that they'll be able to keep on their resumés for the rest of their lives.”
English Professor and Gatepost Advisor Desmond McCarthy said, “The Mark of Excellence college journalism contest is renowned and respected. I am so proud of the three editors who received individual awards.”
He added, “Also, everyone on The Gatepost’s staff can take a bow for the paper’s being named one of two finalists in our region for best all-around student newspaper serving a university with fewer than 10,000 students. There are a lot of universities in New England, New York and the mid-Atlantic region, and many of them are able to provide financial support to student journalists.”
“Everyone at The Gatepost is a volunteer, but the culture of excellence and the emphasis on mutual support and community is what makes this newspaper so special and successful.”