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State Press wins multiple Mark of Excellence awards from SPJ

Several State Press editorial board members accepted awards on behalf of the newspaper and its staff at the Society of Professional Journalists conference in Las Vegas on Saturday. This conference yielded several awards for The State Press – first place in the best all-around student newspaper, best affiliated website, column writing and general news photography categories as well as second place in the breaking news photography and photo illustration categories.

Opinion editor Savannah Thomas earned first place in the column writing category, assistant photo editor Murphy Bannerman took second in the breaking news photography category for her coverage of election night events, and Ana Ramirez received third place in online feature reporting for her multimedia piece about a local artist.

Former State Press staffers Aaron Lavinsky and John Sullivan took home awards in general news photography and photo illustration, respectively.

SPJ Region 11 includes student publications in Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and California. Among these, other news organizations out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication dominated many of the categories, sometimes sweeping entire sections.

SPJ, which is a professional organization for journalists, educators and students interested in broadcast, print or online media, will host its national Excellence in Journalism competition Aug. 24-26 in Anaheim, Calif.

Previously, the newspaper achieved first place for best all-around student newspaper at the 2012 regional conference and first place for best affiliated website at the 2010 regional conference.

Reach the reporter at or follow her @danigrobmeier

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