Ebbtide staff receives top honor at the Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators awards

The 2015-16 Ebbtide staff. Photo credit: The Ebbtide on Instagram.

The 2015-16 Ebbtide staff. Photo credit: The Ebbtide on Instagram.

Shoreline Community College’s student-run newspaper, the Ebbtide, earned the First Place General Sweeps award in the 2015-16 Pacific Northwest Association of Journalism Educators (PNAJE) journalism competition. Awards were announced in June 2016.

The Ebbtide’s news staff won a total of 12 awards and 3 honorable mentions, amassing more points than any other student newspaper in the competition. A First Place General Sweeps is one of the highest honors bestowed by the prestigious PNAJE organization, which was founded in 1970.

Two Ebbtide staffers also earned Individual Sweeps awards: Copy Editor Randy Hatfield (First Place for winning awards in feature reporting, headline writing, portrait photography, and photo illustration) and Photo Editor Aaron Meliza (Third Place for winning awards in photo essay, photo illustration, and sports photo).

Other winners include:

  • Political Reporter Gregor Elgee won First Place in General News Reporting and Third Place in Personality Profile
  • Editor in Chief Aaron Berry won First Place in Feature Reporting
  • Sports Editor Calvin Li won First Place in Personality Profile
  • Former Design Director Brittany Ledyard won First Place in Commentary
  • Former Design Director Stacey Jurss won First Place in Page Design

The Ebbtide wins major awards every year it submits entries to PNAJE, but this is the paper’s first time nabbing the coveted First Place General Sweeps. The paper’s adviser, Patti Jones, attributes this year’s success to the well-rounded and collaborative staff.

Stacy Jurss, former Design Director, won First Place in Page Design for "King of the String."

Stacy Jurss, former Design Director, won First Place in Page Design for “King of the String.”

“This year’s team was a diverse mix of students, including a teen from Hong Kong, the mom of a 5 year old, and a Western Washington University graduate who travelled to China to teach English and realized he wanted to be a journalist,” Jones said. “He’s now aiming for a post-bacc program in journalism at the University of Washington. Somehow this mix of students really clicked, forming a supportive and multi-talented team.”

The completely student-funded and student-run paper swept the prize categories, winning in reporting, writing, photography, and design, among others. They even won for headline-writing on a profile of economics instructor Tim Payne: “From yen to euros: teacher makes cents of global economics.”

“The Sweeps prize is a real testament to the students’ diverse talents,” Jones said, “and to their support for each other. As the sign on my wall says, ‘A newspaper is a shared endeavor. We sink or swim together.’”

Winning the PNAJE competition is a true honor and testament to the talent of the Ebbtide’s staff, as the contest’s judges include journalism educators from several of the region’s four-year colleges, such as UW and Western, as well as working journalists from the Seattle Times, the Tacoma News Tribune, The Herald, and other publications. And competition is stiff, with two-year colleges competing from across Washington and Oregon, including the well-funded powerhouses of Bellevue and Pierce colleges.

Aaron Meliza, Photo Editor, one third place in the Sports Photo category for this photo of a Phins basketball player.

Aaron Meliza, Photo Editor, won third place in the Sports Photo category for this photo of a Phins basketball player.

While most of this year’s staff is moving on, Jones is confident next year’s student reporters will carry on the Ebbtide’s proud, award-winning tradition. “I’m sure the new crop of fresh faces will be every bit as bright and lively as the last – but in its own special way,” Jones said. “That’s one of the beauties of the Ebbtide: It remakes itself each year.”

Interested in writing for the award-winning Ebbtide next quarter? Contact Patti Jones at pattijones@shoreline.edu.

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