March 9, 2017
Work produced by Texas Tech University’s student-operated media continues to be recognized as some of the best in the nation. Staff members of the student-run yearbook, La Ventana; the student-run newspaper, The Daily Toreador; and the student-run multimedia publication, The Hub@TTU, are among the 2017 Gold Circle Award winners, presented by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). The Hub@TTU operates as part of the College of Media and Communication, while The Daily Toreador and La Ventana operate independent of the college.
The Gold Circle Awards recognize excellence in reporting, writing, video, photography and design for yearbooks and digital media, and are for work completed during the 2015-16 schoolyear. Additional awards for print newspapers and magazines will be announced later this year. The Daily Toreador and The Hub@TTU also were named finalists in the upcoming Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards.
“This is a great showing by both of our publications,” said Andrea Watson, Student Media assistant director for The Daily Toreador and La Ventana. “I’m particularly pleased to see the newspaper staff recognized for their online work, since that has definitely been a point of emphasis for them during the last couple of years. These staffs work so hard each year, and it’s wonderful to see them get the recognition we feel they deserve.”
La Ventana received 20 awards, while The Daily Toreador earned 13 digital awards and The Hub@TTU received six awards. Sarah Self-Walbrick, who now serves as graduate external director at The Hub@TTU, said it’s always exciting when staff does well in competition.
“Though we’ve won awards from CSPA in the past, including for overall best college digital news website, it’s nice to be recognized for specific stories that the reporters worked so hard on,” Self-Walbrick said. “The Gold Circle Awards are a tough competition. It’s rewarding to be told we’re doing a good job.”
Watson said though the newspaper and yearbook staffs have different schedules, they both work under a tremendous amount of pressure to produce their publications.
“The Daily Toreador students face the pressure of accurately reporting the news every day, while the La Ventana staff faces the pressure of fully and accurately documenting the history of Texas Tech for a given year,” Watson said. “They both do an excellent job. They are very much professional journalists who also are full-time students.”
Self-Walbrick said The Hub@TTU publishes everything from in-depth investigative pieces to Buzzfeed-like polls and quizzes. She said outlets like the publication are important because they offer millennials new and innovative formats that keep students interested in the news, while also providing an open and creative environment for new journalists.
“We try to give our reporters freedom to work on the stories they want and to tell stories how they think they should be told,” Walbrick said. “I think this creates a passion for storytelling, which is important for media majors. Winning awards reiterates that quality journalism is important and rewards our students for their hard work.”
Watson said student-run publications, like The Daily Toreador, are a vital part of a college environment and important for those just starting their journalism careers.
“It serves as the voice of the students and helps reinforce the value of a free press in a democracy,” Watson said. “It provides a critical training ground for young journalism professionals who are facing an ever-changing media landscape.”
Below is the full list of awards, including the position each student held when the work was completed:
College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech offers undergraduate degrees in various communications-related disciplines including:
The College also offers graduate degrees in communications to prepare students for careers in the communications industry, communications research and academia.Twitter