Toppling Goliath: The Echo Beats Four-Year Schools to General Excellence Award

Dwight

Like many across the country, Rochester Community and Technical College’s campus newspaper The Echo faces a lot of challenges as a two-year school newspaper; but that hasn’t stopped it from beating four-year school contenders as one of the Minnesota Newspaper Association’s (MNA) General Excellence awardees.

“This reminds me of the movie “Hoosiers” where the small-town basketball team competes against much bigger schools in the state tournament,” faculty member and The Echo advisor Dwight Boyum says. “The fact that The Echo placed in General Excellence when it’s competing alongside four-year schools with bigger budgets and resources is a testament to what a great staff we had last year.”

Placing in the collegiate division of the annual Better Newspaper Contest is no small feat, and many of the writers who helped the paper receive the award will be recognized. The competition, put on by MNA, which is currently in its 150th year, features work from papers from all corners of the state.

Staff members won awards in the Photo Story, Columnist, Investigative Reporting, and Editorial categories. As of right now the MNA can’t report what places the paper and students earned. That will be unveiled at its Jan. 26 convention.

“We don’t know if we placed first, second, or third, but this is a big deal since we compete with the four-year schools,” Boyum notes. “It’s not often that a community college paper places in the General Excellence category.”

Four students — Zech Sindt, Rachel Halverson, Jennifer Rogers and Jonathan Knecht — were notified of individual awards.

You can read more abut how Boyum is turning students and reporters into better, more informed citizens here.

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