The student newspaper at Emporia State has been recognized with a first-place award in Investigative Reporting by the Kansas Press Association. The Bulletin also won second-place awards in several other categories in the annual Awards of Excellence competition.

The first-place award went to Sarah Spoon for a Feb. 15, 2018, story that was part of the newspaper’s coverage of  “Jane’s Story,” about an undergraduate student who said she felt “hopeless” after the university’s response to her sexual assault complaint.

A second-place award went to Allie Crome, former managing editor for The Bulletin, in Series Reporting for her coverage of budget cuts by student government at ESU. The Bulletin also won second place for Best Newspaper Redesign, and another second for Best Newspaper Website. Margaret Mellott, the current managing editor, directed the redesign.

“I’m pleased Bulletin staffers are being recognized by the state press association for their talent, dedication and hard work,” said Max McCoy, professor of journalism at ESU and adviser to the campus newspaper. “All of 2018 has been an especially challenging time for journalists, and these students were equal to the task. I’m particularly proud of Sarah Spoon, whose investigative work made campus a safer place.”

Spoon, who was a staff writer last year and is now editor-in-chief, is a senior Spanish and English major from Neodesha, Kansas. Crome is a senior English Secondary Education major from Topeka. Mellott is a sophomore Social Science Secondary Education major from Shawnee, Kansas.

Spoon said student journalists are faced with challenges similar to professional journalists, but are also faced with choosing between keeping up their grades and doing work they find meaningful. But, Spoon said, if the student journalists don’t serve as watchdogs for their campus, who will?

“I am extremely proud of Allie Crome for her watchdog reporting,” Spoon said. “Margaret Mellott has impressed everyone with her redesign of our paper, especially as a journalist so new to staff. Crome is an experienced journalist with a heart and Mellott has grown so much in the short time she’s been with The Bulletin. They will both accomplish so much.”

The Bulletin competed with professional news organizations in the non-daily division II category. The awards will be presented at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 during the annual KPA conference at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, Topeka.

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