School of Journalism and New Media

The University of Mississippi

UM students honored at Best of the South

Posted on: February 24th, 2014 by alysia

in Lafayette, La., Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (Photo/Thomas Graning)University of Mississippi students won 20 awards — including four first places — at the annual Best of the South contest banquet on Friday night Feb. 21, and on Saturday they won first place as Onsite Championship Team for their performance in contests held during the Southeast Journalism Conference convention in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Friday night was a big night for Daily Mississippian Editor in Chief Adam Ganucheau. He won three Best of the South awards:

  • Special Events Reporter/Editor first place, for his coverage of the “Laramie Project” disturbance and its aftermath;
  • Best News Writer second place for articles from The DM and his Daily Journal internship;
  • College Journalist of the Year second place. Adam’s College Journalist of the Year award came with a plaque and $500. The College Journalist of the Year competition requires an essay about responsibility and commitment, letters of recommendation and published work.

John Monteith won first place as Best Television Hard News Reporter for several NewsWatch segments.

Virginia England won first place as Best Magazine Page Layout Designer, for her design work in the “Land of Plenty” depth report.

Tim Abram won first place as Best Opinion-Editorial Writer for a series of DM columns.

Our other Best of the South winners:

  • Casey Holliday, second place for Best Arts and Entertainment Writer;
  • Ignacio Murillo, third place for Best Newspaper Page Layout Designer;
  • Lauren McMillin, third place for Best Magazine Writer;
  • Phil McCausland, third place for Best Feature Writer;
  • Kristen Saltzman, third place for Best Advertising Staff Member;
  • Brittani Acuff, fourth place for Best Television News Feature Reporter;
  • Ellen Graves, fourth place for Best Journalism Research Paper;
  • Thomas Graning, sixth place for Best Press Photographer;
  • Sudu Upadhyay, sixth place for Best Television Journalist;
  • Jonece Dunigan, sixth place Best Feature Writer for articles from her internship in Illinois;
  • David Collier, eighth place for Best Sports Writer.

NewsWatch won second place for Best Television Station and third place for Best College Video News Program. won fourth place for Best College Website.

There were 440 entries from about 35 universities in Best of the South. The contest year covered mid-November 2012 through mid-November 2013, and most categories required three entries from each student. In large categories with many entries, awards were given for first through 10th place.

This year’s conference was Feb. 20-22 at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. About 300 students attended the conference. SEJC includes 40 universities in seven states.

A second highlight of the conference each year is the onsite competition in which students participate in categories under deadline pressure. This is the third time in four years that University of Mississippi students won the grand championship award for the onsites. UM students were named conference champions based on points accumulated for the following awards:

First places:

  • Phil McCausland, feature writing;
  • Phillip Waller, news photography;
  • Thomas Graning, sports photography.

Second places:

  • Ignacio Murillo, page design;
  • Sudu Upadhyay, television reporting;
  • Caty Cambron, Olivia Rearick and Katie Davenport, public relations team

Third place:

  • Sarah Parrish, copy editing