Emerson students were recently honored with regional Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, an association dedicated to the perpetuation of a free press in the United States.
Abbey Niezgoda ’11 won two awards for her work with Emerson Independent Video News. She placed first in both the sports reporting and sports videography categories. Her sports reporting story was about two brothers who ran the 2010 Boston Marathon in honor of their father, an injured Iraq war veteran, who himself had run a marathon while in Iraq. Her sports videography win was for a story about the Boston Public Schools’ installation of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) and featured the Charlestown High School football team.
“I really have such a strong link to the Marathon piece,” said Niezgoda. “It wasn’t me just covering it on Marathon day. I spent days covering them training and spent eight hours with them on Marathon day. I’m thankful to have had the opportunities Emerson has given me and to see what I can do with those opportunities.”
Additionally, the students behind Emerson’s student-run magazine, Gauge, won the second-place prize in the student magazine category for their issue themed “the final frontier” about what drives people to explore.
“We’re really proud and excited about the award,” said Gauge editor-in-chief Evan Allen '11. “Gauge has been trying to become more and more professional and getting recognized by professional organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists helps us do that.”
Annually, the Society of Professional Journalists presents the Mark of Excellence Awards to honor the best in student print, radio, television, and online journalism. Entries are first judged on the regional level. First-place regional winners advance to the national competition and are recognized at SPJ spring conferences. National winners will attend an awards ceremony in New Orleans in September and be showcased on spj.org.