Big win for the Courier at this year’s ICCJA conference


Alison Pfaff (Asst. Photo Editor)

L-R: News Reporter Vandy Manyeh, E-I-C Carlos Petersen, Courier Advisor Jim Fuller and Opinion Editor Kimberly Wilson after the “First Place General Excellence” was awarded.

Vandy Manyeh, News Editor

The Courier Newspaper is the best “Division 1” community college newspaper in Illinois.

The publication won the first place in general excellence award for excellent reporting and the overall quality of the newspaper at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) conference in Springfield, Ill. on April 6.

The publication also won first place awards in every major newspaper category and 21 awards in total.

“It’s an honor to be considered for so many awards, and to do so well this year is unbelievably humbling,” Editor-In-Chief Carlos Peterson said.

In features, Caroline Broderick, the Courier’s former features editor, won first place in features writing. Broderick won the award for her concise and in-depth coverage about happenings at a medical marijuana dispensary in Illinois. Broderick is a journalism major at Emerson College in Boston.

Former E-I-C Lucas Kaprowski won first place for arts review. Kaprowski studies english literature at Northern Illinois University.

The Courier was also rewarded for its excellence in visual journalism. Former Graphics Editor Joseph Molino won first place for page design in the “Division 1” category. Molino and Olivia DeBock, the Courier’s current graphics editor, won second place in the open category for front page design for their “mind games” illustration about mental health on campus.

Photo Editor Hannah Davis won first place for sports photo and honorable mention for a features photo.

In the editorial category, Opinion Editor Kimberly Wilson won the editorial writer of the year award. The Courier also brought home the staff editorial writer of the year award.

In sports, Peterson’s column about the Wheaton College hazing scandal earned him sports column of the year recognition. Prior to becoming editor-in-chief, Peterson was the Courier’s sports editor. He is headed to the University of Kansas this fall to study broadcast journalism.

In the news category, News Editor Vandy Manyeh won the news story of the year award for his story titled: “Big jump in the number of students seeking personal counseling at COD.” Manyeh also won first place news story (open), and the reporter of the year awards.

Former News Editor Kitt Fresa won first place for news photo. Fresa studies journalism at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and works as the features editor for the Daily Egyptian.

At this year’s ICCJA spring conference, Charlie Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois-Springfield, served as the keynote speaker.

Wheeler shared his experiences with student journalists about covering state government. The veteran statehouse reporter has almost 50 years of experience covering news. He is best known for a distinguished career at the Chicago Sun-Times.

“We are the eyes and ears of the public; we are the watchdog,” Wheeler said to student journalists.

The conference covered major topics about campus reporting and standards. Other speakers included: Maureen McKinney, NPR Illinois news editor and lead editor of Illinois issues, and Jason Koch, news, social media and search editor for Belleville News-Democrat.