The Easterner, EWU’s student newspaper, earned two Associated Collegiate Press awards this year in the categories “Best of Show: Four-Year [Colleges] Weekly Broadsheet” and “Best of Show: Website Enrollment.”
After placing seventh last year in the broadsheet category, this year The Easterner placed fifth. According to Editor-in-Chief Amy Meyer, while the paper has entered the website category in previous years, it has never placed until this year, when it placed eighth. The Easterner website, www.easterneronline.com, which was entered in this year’s competition, was launched in May 2012 by Grant Stancliff and was taken over only this school year by Ben Grant, the new website editor.
“I ultimately chose issue 5 for the comic book Eagle Life section that the crew poured themselves into,” said Meyer. “Aside from that section, [the] news [section] was packed with stories, the opinion section had letters from students and sports had a variety of topics.”
Grace Christiansen, Associated Collegiate Press’s content and critique coordinator, said that judging criteria for collegiate news websites includes many of the same criteria as for printed newspapers, such as design and writing; but for websites judges also look at usability, engagement, which is how many reader responses are posted and how quickly they are answered, frequency of updates and other web-related metrics.
“People stop me all the time on campus and say, ‛I’ve read The Easterner for the last 20 years and I’ve never seen such a good Easterner,’” said Bill Stimson, professor of journalism and faculty adviser. “I’m used to the idea that it’s a superior paper.” Journalism professor and faculty adviser Jamie Neely added, “I think it’s really obvious from the [award] that [staff members] are doing their job well.”