Ohio Wesleyan’s Independent Student Newspaper Earns Ohio Newspaper Association Awards

The Transcript Recognized for Newswriting, Headline Writing
Marissa Alfano, 2012 editor-in-chief of The Transcript, accepted the student newspaper's awards at the recent Ohio Newspaper Association convention. (Photo by Taylor Rivkin '14)

Marissa Alfano, 2012 editor-in-chief of The Transcript, accepted the student newspaper’s awards at the recent Ohio Newspaper Association convention. (Photo by Taylor Rivkin ’14)

DELAWARE, Ohio – The Ohio Newspaper Association has awarded The Transcript, Ohio Wesleyan University’s independent student newspaper, two awards recognizing its “aggressive coverage” in newswriting and its “great blend of creativity and news” in headline writing.

The awards, second- and third-place honors respectively, were announced at the Ohio Newspaper Association’s 2013 convention, held Feb. 13-14 in Columbus. Established in 1933, the Ohio Newspaper Association (ONA) serves as the trade association for more than 250 Ohio daily and weekly newspapers and more than 150 websites.

The ONA Division B awards recognized Transcript achievements in 2012 under the leadership of student editor-in-chief Marissa Alfano, a journalism and politics and government double major from Brunswick, Ohio. Alfano, who was on hand to receive the awards, said The Transcript staff is honored to receive the ONA recognition.

“It reaffirms to us that we are covering issues of significance to the campus community and fulfilling our obligation as aspiring journalists,” she said. “[Transcript adviser] Melinda [Rhodes] has taught us how to follow story leads, ask the hard questions, and dig through incident reports to find the relevant information. Serving as editor-in-chief for the 2012 school year was the highlight of my OWU career to date and receiving these awards is humbling.”

For newswriting, Ohio Wesleyan students recognized for their contributions were Alfano; managing editor Eric Tifft of Huntsville, Ala.; Noah Manskar of Nashville, Tenn.; and Michelle Rotuno-Johnson of Fairfield, Ohio.

For headline writing, the OWU student-journalists honored were Alfano; Tifft; online editor Elizabeth Childers of Plymouth, Ohio; copy and photo editor Natalie Duleba of Euclid, Ohio; and Paul Gruber of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rhodes, Ph.D., also an assistant professor of journalism, said she is impressed by the time and energy the Ohio Wesleyan students dedicate to producing a weekly newspaper.

“They spend hours in the newsroom,” Rhodes said, “tracking down sources, designing pages, searching for graphics, and thinking about how it all goes together on a page. They shoot photos and video, load stories to the online site, and desperately seek out advertisers to support the endeavor. They strive at all times to be fair and accurate, while at the same time learning new skills and approaches every day.

“What they do takes a type of courage and risk that I try to acknowledge whenever I can,” Rhodes said. “At OWU, we produce people who understand what good journalism is and the responsibility to practice it ethically. The Transcript is where they start to learn these things. Sometimes we fail and often we succeed, but we always learn together.”

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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