By Sondra Rodriguez, Page Editor
Students from ACU’s JMC Network won 51 awards at the 100th Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) in Dallas on Saturday. Awards were given for media including newspaper, radio and television, and ACU competed against University of Texas-Austin, University of North Texas and Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Texas Christian universities.
TIPA was founded in 1909 at Baylor University and is the oldest collegiate press association, according to www.TexasIPA.org. The competition recognizes work in the field of mass communication that exemplifies student press leadership and excellence from two and four-year institutions. TIPA also awards $4,000 per year in scholarships to students from these universities, based on student staff nominations.
The Optimist won first in overall excellence; KACU-FM won first in overall newscast and the JMC st-udent media won third place in the newspaper and television sweepstakes. Overall, the JMC Network was awarded 14 first-place awards, eight second place awards, 10 third-place awards and 19 honorable mention honors.
ACU students have attended TIPA for 89 years and always have done well, but not always this well, said Kenneth Pybus, adviser of the JMC Network and assistant professor of journalism and mass communication.
“The awards we won are all important basic elements of a good newspaper,” Pybus said. “It is evidence that the construction of the News lab and the philosophy behind converged media is successful and is producing quality work.”
Daniel Johnson-Kim, senior journalism major from Abilene and editor in chief of the Optimist, won nine individual awards. He said 51 wins proves “convergence is a great idea” and that the hard work from students in the department was not for nothing.
“We know now that we truly are one of the best departments, the best in the state,” Johnson-Kim said. “The education we’re getting here will benefit us when we get into the professional world.”
John Best, KACU station manager, said he anticipates more wins based on this year’s success.
“As we start to better understand the converged process and we start to create and work together more than we have now, we’re going to see an improvement in content and quality,” he said. “That will produce more wins.”
Johnson-Kim said the JMC department must move forward, not backward, from here and expects future JMC Network staff members to uphold the precedent of high-quality journalism.
“It’s great that we won, but that just means it’s going to get harder, and we have to do better,” he said.