The Portland State University (PSU) Vanguard won the general excellence award and four other first-place awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association's (ONPA) 2011 Collegiate Newspaper Contest.
The Vanguard, PSU's student-run newspaper, won first-place in best special section, best headline writing, best review and best columnist, in addition to seven second-place awards and five honorable mentions.
"Our staff this year is exceptionally strong since we have managed to attract a high number of students whose future professional goals involve working in journalism," said Virginia Vickery, editor-in-chief. "Their tenacious reporting, meticulous editing, and superb writing raise the bar for the entire staff."
The Vanguard publishes a 16-page paper every Tuesday and Friday that contains a broad range of news, arts, sports, and opinion coverage by student writers. Last summer, the newspaper was completely redesigned to modernize the look of the paper and allow more content on each page, Vickery said.
The judges, who were Oregon newspaper professionals, praised the paper for its bold and innovative typography, outstanding news coverage, and spectacular arts coverage, as well as its crime blotter and the amount of space devoted to good art in the sports section.
"Despite not having a journalism program at Portland State, we work hard as a team to teach ourselves the business of newspaper making and feel vindicated in our efforts by the general excellence award, as well as the numerous other awards given by the ONPA," Vickery said.
The Vanguard competed against the University of Oregon's Daily Emerald and Oregon State University's Daily Barometer in the annual contest. The awards were announced May 6 at the Oregon Newspapers Foundation’s annual Collegiate Day conference at Linn-Benton Community College. The full list of awards is available on the ONPA website.