Ouachita “Signal” earns national accolades from Columbia Scholastic Press Association

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association awarded the Ouachita Baptist University student newspaper, The Signal, three Gold Circle Awards for the 2013 year.

“It is a great honor for Tanner Ward and The Signal staff to come away with three Gold Circle awards, “ said Dr. Jeff Root, dean of the School of Humanities. “They competed against college journalists nationwide regardless of the size of the university. It says a lot about the quality of our students at Ouachita.”

Tanner Ward, student editor of The Signal, earned a second place award in News Page Design (Broadsheet Format) for “Blue vs. Red.” Ward is a senior mass communications and business administration/finance and management major from Bryant, Ark.

The Signal staff also received second place in Single Subject News or Feature Package (Two Pages, Double-truck or Special Section Design, Broadsheet Format) for “Ouachita Ripples” and a certificate of merit in Editorial Writing for “It’s time for equal rights.”

The Signal was recognized alongside student publications from such universities as Ball State University, Texas Tech University and Iowa State University.

“These awards are a big deal for us,” Ward said. “We are competing against the largest schools from across the United States, and we — a small college in Arkansas — are able to keep up with them.”

Ward is responsible for planning coverage, assigning reporters, editing copy, designing the newspaper and website, uploading content online, managing social media presence assisting staff with interviews or stories and coordinating with advisors. Ward puts in more than 40 hours a week working on The Signal.

Sam Cushman, a junior mass communications and political science major from Springdale, Ark., works as news editor for The Signal. “Working for The Signal is a great opportunity to expand your portfolio; it is a professional organization,” Cushman said. “My job as news editor gives me leadership opportunities. I get to coach new writers and help guide the direction of the paper. It’s a great opportunity.”