The Sonoma State Star, the student-run newspaper at Sonoma State University, won top honors for general excellence at the annual California Newspaper Publishers Association awards ceremony Saturday.
The weekly newspaper received two first place awards in the college division of the annual contest including a first place award for general excellence. The Star also received a first place honor in the column writing category for the work of Opinion Editor Olivia Hunt.
The judging for general excellence was based on two editions in 2017, including the Star’s coverage of the October fires, which decimated Sonoma County and forced the closure of Sonoma State for nine days.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment for our student-run publication, and we are all so proud," said Sonoma State President Dr. Judy K. Sakaki. ““It’s a well-deserved first-time recognition for our talented Star students.”
Judges for the CNPA contest recognized the newspaper for its “strong, strong news coverage under tough conditions.” The judges also acknowledged the newspaper for having “interesting opinion pages. Good writing. Clean copy. Very good photos. Good sports pages.”
The work of the Star was evaluated along with entries from campus newspapers from four-year universities from throughout California. Second place went to the UCLA Daily Bruin.
Star Editor Shannon Brown, a senior communications major, said she and other editors were determined to have the post-fire edition on the stands the day the camp of class. “But that was a challenge because we weren’t even allowed back on campus until noon the day before,” said Brown. “We are still in shock. This is amazing.”
The Star is a 12-page student-produced weekly newspaper that is published 14 times a semester.
“The staff of the Star have set a high standard for themselves, a standard that was particularly evident during some challenging times this past year,” said Paul Gullixson, faculty adviser to the Star. “Their hard work has paid off, and I could not be more pleased for them.”