The Observer, the student newspaper for Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, was honored recently with one award from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and three awards from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).

The newspaper received the “Best in Show” award from the ACP for the second consecutive year. Also, it won second place in the “Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper” category in the SPJ’s Region 1 Mark of Excellence contest.

Kathryn H. Cusimano, (FCLC ’09), who served as editor in chief for the 2008-2009 academic year, said the recognition was a wonderful reward and validation for the staff’s hard work.

She noted that working on The Observer is a unique challenge, as it can be difficult to objectively cover a community of one’s peers.

“I believe this year’s staff has done a particularly outstanding job of covering the FCLC community fully and objectively,” she said.

The SPJ contest also honored the following Observer staff members:

• Craig Calefate (FCLC ’09), photography co-editor, third place, “Best Photo Illustration.”
• Andrew Hudson (FCLC ’09), opinions editor, first place, “General Column Writing.”

Adviser Elizabeth Stone, Ph.D., professor of English and communications and media studies, was likewise proud of the staff of the bi-weekly paper, which has served students at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center since 1981.

“The editorial board members and staff, a talented group of people, have worked conscientiously throughout the year,” she said. “I’m delighted for them and proud of them.”

Cusimano said there was nothing about the paper this year that was significantly different. She noted, however, that the dynamic between editors was outstanding.

“Everyone has been able to work well together, and I think that shows,” she said.

Moreover, The Observer’s recently re-launched website was ranked in the top 10 by the ACP.

Cusimano said that was especially gratifying because, like all journalists, The Observer staff has been learning new programs, trying to think in terms of Web publishing and generally establishing a real working model for the newspaper in the Internet age.

She said she was particularly happy with the newspaper’s coverage of the 19th Annual Ignatian Family Teach-In and protest of the School of the Americas, as well as a photo collage of the U2 concert on March 6 at Rose Hill.

“We’ve been testing out podcasts and trying to figure out the format and model that works best for the Fordham community,” she said. “That’s been a struggle, but we’ve gotten some great feedback.”


Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.