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The Gatepost wins second place NENPA award


Two women smiling and holding paper awards. They are both holding a single plaque.
Courtesy of Desmond McCarthy

By Sophia Harris 

Editor-in-Chief


The Gatepost won four awards in the New England Newspaper and Press Association’s Better Newspaper Competition on March 23, including second place in the New England College Newspaper of the Year contest.  


NENPA is the professional trade organization for newspapers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island.


According to the organization’s website, “Our goal is to help newspaper professionals successfully fulfill their mission to engage and inform the public while navigating and ultimately thriving in today’s evolving media landscape.”


NENPA represents and serves more than 450 daily, weekly, and specialty newspapers throughout the six-state region.


The awards in the college division of the competition were for material published during the 2022-23 academic year. 


Bowdoin College’s The Bowdoin Orient won first place and Boston University’s The Daily Free Press won third place in the New England College Newspaper of the Year contest. 


This is the second year in a row NENPA has recognized The Gatepost as one of New England’s best college newspapers.


The Gatepost won second place in the Editorial Writing category.


Leighah Beausoleil, ’23, won third place in the In-Depth Reporting category. 


Beausoleil said, “Winning awards this season made me feel so grateful for all the experiences I had on The Gatepost.” 


She added while working on The Gatepost, “Many late nights were spent going over stories again and again until we are sure they are of the best quality for the campus community.”


Beausoleil said, “Student journalists work so hard to serve their community and they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.”


Beausoleil added, “I’ve often wondered to myself if perhaps I could’ve spent a little bit more time outside the four walls of McCarthy 410 during my time at FSU. 


“However, now working on a professional paper, I wouldn’t take back a single second.”


She said, “Every experience on The Gatepost has prepared me for the job I always dreamed of, and now I have it.”


Beausoleil is the editor of the Dartmouth Week. 


She said Framingham State is an institution “certainly worthy of some recognition.”


She added that winning awards such as second place in the New England College Newspaper of the Year contest only serves as a testament to the value of this experience.


“While winning individual awards is a great way to boost your resume, I can’t help but remain in awe of the professional-level work The Gatepost staff produces every week,” she said.


McKenzie Ward, ’23, won third place for column writing for “An Unethical Solution,” published on February 3, 2023. 


Ward said she was “ really moved” by her column.


She wrote about a piece of legislation that was introduced by the Massachusetts House of Representatives regarding a program in which people in prison could donate their organs and get reduced sentences.


 “I just thought it was completely unethical … and I decided to write it and I think it was a really great piece and really advocated for those who cannot advocate for themselves right now because of the position that they are being put in,” Ward said.


She added, “I was really excited to win, especially after graduating from college.”


Ward said, “I went into The Gatepost not thinking I was going to be a writer. And now, I've been in three different award ceremonies and gotten first place in two of them and now third place, so I'm super excited about how successful my career at The Gatepost was.”


She said, “This just really reminds me about what Desmond told us all - that nobody who's joined The Gatepost has regretted it because even after college, it just reminds me of how much of a family I had during my four years at FSU.”


Emily Rosenberg ’23, who contributed to the editorial that won third place said,  “It’s always awesome to see The Gatepost be recognized!”


Rosenberg said, “Especially seeing the front cover of an issue I remember so vividly next to two incredibly prestigious newspapers as the second place winner of college newspaper of the year was a really proud moment.”


She said, “The editorial we were recognized for, “Let go of these logos,” was an editorial Leighah and I wrote in the car. The majority of it I typed out on a Google doc on my phone as we drove some of her stuff home.


“That is a very fond memory, and I particularly remember Desmond laughing at jokes I came up with at the beginning of the editorial and him saying it could possibly win an award.”


She said, “After graduating, this was also a celebration of all of the wonderful memories I made at The Gatepost.”


Rosenberg added, “When I joined The Gatepost, I was not expecting to be recognized for my writing - I was just hoping that I could contribute to my community and hopefully make some people think.”


“The Gatepost being recognized as one of the top college newspapers in all of New England is truly a testament to how incredible Framingham State’s journalism minor is, despite it having only two professors. Desmond and Liz work so hard! It also shows how much students can learn and grow as journalists just by being on The Gatepost,” Rosenberg added.

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