Photo by Eslah Attar, '17
Burr Fall 2016 Staff

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SPJ Names The Burr Best Student Magazine in Nation

JMC Earns National Recognition for Student Magazine, General News Photography, Breaking News

The Burr Magazine, Kent State’s general interest student magazine, was named the best student magazine in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Kent State also earned national finalist status in two categories in SPJ’s annual national Mark of Excellence Awards competition.

In each category, SPJ chooses one winner and up to two national finalists from student journalists’ submissions from across the United States.

National Winner, Best Magazine

The Fall 2016 issue of The Burr Magazine was named the national winner and best student magazine in the nation. Alumna Neville Hardman, ’16, served as editor of the submitted issue, which celebrated nostalgia and the retro revival of television, film, fashion and culture.

“The idea was to create a product that reflected on trends and pop culture without losing the integrity of the magazine,” Hardman said. “… I'm floored to have been the editor of a magazine that received this honor. Nostalgia is something everyone can relate to, and I'm glad the judges enjoyed this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.” 

Some of the magazine’s features included a profile on a straight edge student, a visual spread about vintage fashion and a story about anxiety issues related to social media. Read the issue in The Burr’s archives.

National Finalist, General News Photography

Clint Datchuk, ’17, was named a national finalist in the General News Photography category (large school), for his submission “Day 4 of Cleveland RNC.” Datchuk followed the 2016 presidential campaign from beginning to end, covering local campaign stops, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland (where he shot the national finalist-recognized photo) and the Donald Trump election night headquarters in New York City. Earlier this year, his photography on the campaign trail earned him top honors in College Photographer of the Year’s general news category.

Of the experience, he said, “My experience at Kent State allowed me to see (the 2016 election) from beginning to end and document history as it happened.”

National Finalist, Breaking News Reporting

The KentWired staff was recognized as a national finalist in the Breaking News Reporting category for its coverage of the Kesterson lawsuit.   

Throughout 2016, the staff followed the civil lawsuit filed by senior health studies major Lauren Kesterson, a former Kent State softball player, alleging she was raped by the son of former softball coach Karen Linder and that the university did not comply with Title IX reporting procedures.

The following alumni from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), contributed to the initial reporting while they were students: Ian Flickinger, ’16Stephen Means, ’16,Jimmy Miller, ’17, and Emily Mills, ’16.

In April, Kent State earned 14 regional honors from SPJ, including regional first place honors in general news photography, photo illustration, sports photography, best student magazine, non-fiction magazine article, breaking news reporting and best affiliated web site. Each first-place regional honor was then eligible for a national Mark of Excellence award.