Journalism department earns 41 awards and 4 All-Missouri awards


Amanda Adler

Journalism students pose fora photo after the awards assembly at J-Day.

Makayla Mais, Staff Writer

Every year, journalists all over the state look forward to the day they will be honored for their hard work in and outside of the classroom. At the 46th annual Journalism Day, hosted at the University of Missouri by the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association, the Warsaw journalism department returned with 41 individual awards, and four All-Missouri awards. Among the four were sophomore Maria Miranda, and seniors Brooklyn Spencer, Melissa Pierce, and Zach Swiger.

Overall, the student newspaper The Wildcat, earned an “excellent” rating, and the website,, and the 2014 yearbook, Ozark Echoes, both earned “superior” ratings.

“I was very surprised when I got a first place award on my news story. When they called my name I started shaking and had no idea what to do,” Miranda said. “But after all, I was very proud of myself for getting an award for writing a story in a language that isn’t my main language.”

“I was in shock when they called my name. Winning all-state with the first news article I had ever written was just amazing,” Spencer said. “I won five awards overall and it feels good to be recognized for all the work we put into our newspaper and yearbook.”

“I was very surprised when I won my All-Missouri award. I didn’t think that I would win any awards since I am a novice journalist and photographer,” Pierce said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”

“I was shocked that I won an award, I did not think that a first year journalism student like myself could take home an All-Missouri award on a story,” Swiger said.

Students who attended could sign up for sessions to improve their work in and outside the classroom and were able to take notes to bring back to their home school to see if these would bring more attention to their student publication, or possibly make it better.

“The most important thing that I learned during J-Day was that if you have a dream, go for it, no matter how many obstacles are in your way. If you really want and know what you’re doing, good results will appear in your way,” Miranda said.

“I learned a lot in the iPhoneography session. It was cool learning about all the apps we can download to take high quality photos,” Spencer said. “I love the idea of capturing moments and being able to relive them.”

“I learned was that the best camera is the one you have with you, and it’s important for a journalist to know that” Pierce said.

“The one thing that stood out to me the most that I learned in that whole day was when we publish a newspaper for the school we need to appeal to what the students want to see,” Swiger said. “They are our audience so we need to please them.”