UL Lafayette collected 12 awards in the Southeast Journalism Conference’s 2013 Best of the South competition, presented during the SEJC’s 28th annual convention held at the Lafayette Hilton over the weekend.
“This is the most number of awards we have won in several years,” says UL Lafayette journalism professor and SEJC president Robert Buckman. “Needless to say we are proud.”
The SEJC comprises 40 member schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. The Best of the South Awards are given each calendar year to the top 10 contestants in each category, some of which have 40 or more entries. A total of 292 students and faculty from 31 schools attended this year.
The student-run weekly newscast “Louisiana Focus,” which airs at 3 p.m. Monday over KRVS-FM, the NPR affiliate on the UL campus, received first place for Best College Audio News Program and KRVS took second place for Best College Radio Station. The Vermilion, the weekly UL newspaper, won fifth place in the Best College Newspaper category.
Lanie Lee Cook of Broussard, who received her journalism degree in December and is now a reporter with KPEL radio, received an honorable mention for College Journalist of the Year and took third place as Best Special Events Reporter for a series in The Vermilion on the new bike lanes on the UL campus.
Ashley Hinson, a senior English major and journalism minor from Lafayette, won first place as Best Arts and Entertainment Writer.
Jared Perrio of Lafayette, who received his journalism degree in December, won second place in the Best Feature Writer category.
Brian Richard, a senior broadcast major from Morgan City, took third place as Best Radio Hard News Reporter.
There were three fourth-place winners: Annie Ourso, a senior journalism major from White Castle, as Best News Writer; Jeanne Robichaux, a senior broadcast major from Houma, in the Best Radio Journalist category; and Kimberly Bradford, a senior broadcast major from Franklinton, as Best Radio Feature Reporter.
Mike Francingues, a senior journalism major from Mandeville, won ninth place as Best Opinion-Editorial Writer.
“To score anywhere in the top 10 is not an insignificant achievement,” Buckman says. “This is the first time The Vermilion has received Best of the South in the newspaper category. I’m exhilarated and extremely proud of our students.”