Ranger receives accolades at journalism conference

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This photo of art sophomore Patrick Hawbecker sorting organic lettuce Sept. 2014 at the Phi Theta Kappa mobile food pantry won first place general news photograph at the Mark of Excellence Awards March 28.  Photo by Neven Jones

This photo of art sophomore Patrick Hawbecker sorting organic lettuce Sept. 2014 at the Phi Theta Kappa mobile food pantry won first place general news photograph at the Mark of Excellence Awards March 28. Photo by Neven Jones

This college’s newspaper honored for editorial writing, news photography and photo illustration.

Ranger staff members won four 2014 Mark of Excellence Awards — including two first-place nods — at the Society of Professional Journalists Region 8 Conference March 28 in Oklahoma City.

The annual awards recognize collegiate journalism for each calendar year.

Region 8 comprises Texas and Oklahoma. This college’s student newspaper competed against other large schools with 10,000 students or more.

They included two-year colleges, such as Tarrant County College, and four-year universities, such as Baylor University, the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Oklahoma.

Neven Jones, staff photographer for The Ranger in fall 2014, won first place in general news photography for “Food stampede,” a Sept. 15 photo of a student sorting organic lettuce during a campus food drive.

Adriana Ruiz, former sections editor, received a first-place award in editorial writing for three editorials: Oct. 20’s “Adjuncts deserve more,” Sept. 22’s “Degrees strip individuality” and “Just stop already,” published March 21, 2014.

Multimedia editor Daniel Carde was a finalist for his Oct. 20 photo illustration that accompanied the story “Don’t let flu season catch you.”

Former Ranger photographer Christopher A. Hernandez was a finalist in breaking news photography for “Student protesters at odds over Ferguson,” posted online Nov. 25.

As first-place recipients, Jones and Ruiz will compete in the society’s national Mark of Excellence contest. SPJ will announce the national winners in late spring.

The conference, at OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, included the awards ceremony; keynote speaker Joe Hight, a longtime newspaper journalist and team leader of The Oklahoman’s victim coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing; and seminars on covering violent weather, SPJ’s revised code of ethics and the First Amendment on college campuses.

For more information, visit www.spj.org.

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