Georgia State University hosts SEJC; Frisbie wins its Journalist of the Year award
From February 26-28, Georgia State University hosted the Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC) for the first time in 24 years. And one of its own came home with a big prize.
Ciara Frisbie, News Editor for The Signal won the 2014 “Best of the South” College Journalist of the Year award, receiving a $1,000 prize. Between its three media organziations (The Signal, GSTV and WRAS), Student Media received 17 Top 10 placements including four first place wins.
Signal Editor-in-Chief Anna Yang served as the Student President for the conference.
“I’m very proud of Ciara for winning the award. When she came into her role as news editor, she hit the ground running with her investigative work on the GSU-GPB partnership over at WRAS…there’s no one else who deserves it more than Ciara,” Yang said.
The conference attracted over 250 student and faculty from across the southeast, with at least one contestant from 22 schools competing in 15 onsite competitions. The host university traditionally does not participate in the onsite competitions. There were 139 entries in all from 154 total contestants with the University of Mississippi edging Belmont for the “Journalism Championship” award based on the aggregate of the 15 categories.
Weather projections from across the southeast dampered attendance somewhat but President of the event, Assistant Director for Student Media Bryce McNeil, considered the event a tremendous success.
“Our mission was to have a plethora of learning opportunities and to show our visitors all around downtown. I think we did that,” McNeil said. Some onsites involved going off-campus for tours before students returned to write their entries. Locations included Turner Field, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. In addition, several students that were not participating in contests were able to attend the 24th Annual Georgia Bar Media and Judiciary Conference.
The “Best of the South” contest recognizes work from within a calendar year for member schools in a variety of journalism categories. The awards banquet was held on the Friday evening of the conference at the Ramada Atlanta Plaza Downtown.
The event featured a wide array of speakers from across the world of media, with ABC’s Steve Osunsami serving as featured speaker for the Saturday luncheon at the Student Center that concluded the conference.
The event marked the second time The Signal received honors in February. The staff received 15 Top 3 placements in the Georgia College Press Association’s “Better Newspapers” contest, including their fourth “General Excellence” award in five years. The awards were handed out a a ceremony at the Georgia Press Institute conference at the Classic Center in Athens on Feb. 7.