DP and DPAA Awards

This page is updated periodically with information about both awards the DP has recently won as well as the awards given out by the DPAA to DP staff members at the newspaper's annual staff banquet each January. 

To start, we'll look at how well the DP's has fared in several of the most prestigious national competitions for the best overall college newspapers in the country in recent years.

The Associated Collegiate Press presents the Pacemaker Awards, which are informally considered the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for college newspapers. In November 2012, the DP received the prestigious award, along with four other college daily newspapers. It was the first Pacemaker for the DP since back-to-back wins in 2007 and 2008. The DP has now received the Pacemaker Award 9 times since 1997, including four consecutive years from 2001-2004. But the good news for the DP didn't end there. The ACP also issues Pacemaker awards for college media websites, and the DP's website, theDP.com, received its first-ever Pacemaker when the awards were announced in Chicago. The website has been a frequent finalist in recent years, but the site's complete overhaul and redesign in fall 2011 led to the Pacemaker award.

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) presents its annual Mark of Excellence Award for the Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper. In 2010, The Daily Pennsylvanian was a National Finalist -- one of two runners-up behind the Minnesota Daily. The DP was the sole National Winner in 2008, and has been the First Place Region 1 (Northeast) winner in 2008, 2009 and 2010. The DP did not earn a regional award and entry into the national finals 2011.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) recognizes the best college newspapers via its Crown Awards each year. In March 2012, The Daily Pennsylvanian received the top Gold Crown award for 2011, after receiving the runner-up Silver Crown award in 2010 and 2009. The DP also received the Gold Crown in 2008 and 2007. CSPA separately presents awards for  newspaper web sites, and theDP.com received the Gold Crown for 2010 and a Silver Crown for 2011.

CSPA also runs an annual contest for individual achievement in a wide variety of editorial categories. In 2012, Daily Pennsylvanian and 34th Street staff members received a total of 30 Gold Circle awards, 16 for print and 14 for online. DP staff members won awards for News Writing, In-depth news/feature story, General feature writing, Online Breaking News, Opinion columns, Sports features, Sports commentary, Sports photography, Humor writing, Computer-generated art/illustration, Website Design, Online Photo Slideshow, Online Interactive Graphic, Video News Package, Video Feature Package, a special section commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and many more. The previous year, in 2011, Daily Pennsylvanian staff members received 25 Gold Circle awards for print and an additional 14 awards for online. 

College Newspaper Business and Advertising Managers (CNBAM) is a national association of college papers which presents annual awards focused on business and advertising operations. In the DP office, there's an entire hallway filled with the more than 100 awards the DP has won through the years. At the most recent conference in in March 2012, the DP came away with an impressive 8 awards, including first place for best online ad; 2nd place for online newspaper promotion ad, special section, classified page, and ratecard; and 3rd place for back-to-school issue, newspaper promotion ad, and newspaper promotion campaign.

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The DP Alumni Association also gives several awards each year for excellence in writing, photography, and business. Students submit their best work to be judged by a panel of DP alumni journalists, and the awards are presented at the annual staff banquet in January.

The two writing awards were judged by Binyamin Appelbaum '01, Washington correspondent, The New York TimesSabrina Eaton '85, Washington correspondent, The Plain DealerStephen Fried '79, author and freelance magazine writer; Ben Hammer '98, reporter, Washington Business Journal; and Rebecca Kaplan '10, campaign reporter, National Journal.

The Page One Award, aims to recognize students who have searched out a news story, pursued it and persevered in getting the story in print, written accurately and objectively, and done appropriate follow up. The 2011 Page One Award was given to sport editor Megan Soisson for her article, "Surface Tension for Field Hockey" which looked at Penn’s decision-making on whether or not to invest in an Astroturf field for the Field Hockey team. (Read the article here.)

Judge Appelbaum said of the winning entry: “Solid, clear exploration of a surprising issue." Fellow judge Hammer said of the winning entry: “Surprisingly good story - who knew there was one to tell here? The reporter took an unusual or unexpected topic and went in-depth with great (again, surprising) quotes.”

The 2011 Michael Silver Writing Award, for the best piece of overall writing in any DP publication, was awarded to 34th Street Editor-in-Chief Jessica Goodman, for her 34th Street cover story “There’s Something About Molly” about the rise of MDMA and electronic dance music at Penn. (Read the article here.)

The DPAA Photography Award was judged by Tracy Gitnick Herriott '95, Southern California Photo Editor for the Associated Press in Los Angeles; Evelyn Hockstein '97, a freelance photojournalist based in Kenya; Jacques-Jean (“JJ”) Tiziou '02, a freelance photographer based in Philadelphia; and Tommy Leonardi '89, a freelance photographer also based in Philadelphia. The 2011 award, for best single photograph of the year was awarded to Alexandra Fleischman for her photo of an apartment building near campus fully engulfed in flames. (View the photo here.)

The Herb Liss Outstanding Business Staff Award was split by advertising representative Lyn Li Che and front office representative Suzanne Gentner.

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