ACP awards '09 Best of Show to Targum for election issue
The Daily Targum won the Best of Show award for a daily, four-year University at Sunday's Associated Collegiate Press National College Newspaper Convention Award ceremony.
Contestants were asked to submit what they believe was their best issue. The Targum submitted their election 2008 issue, which included a 16-page color wrap, filled with national and state election results.
"It has been four long years since we last won this award and I am extremely pleased to bring this prestige back to the Banks where it belongs," said the Editor-in-Chief of the Targum's 140th editorial board, Dan Bracaglia. "I can also with confidence say that there is no college community in the nation more deserving of the nations best college daily paper than Rutgers University."
Ironically enough, the last time the Targum won the Best of Show award was with our election issue four years ago, said Bracaglia, a Rutgers College junior.
The editorial board sent two reporters and a photographer to both Chicago and Phoenix for the November issue, as well as in-state reports from New Brunswick to cover Sen. Frank Lautenberg's win and Dick Zimmer's loss in Bridgewater.
The issue featured photo spreads from both Chicago and Phoenix.
The design desk created a state-by-state result list denoting how many votes each candidate won in a particular state and which candidate won that state. For the New Jersey elections, a state graph separated into counties represented elected members of Congress and their margin of victory compared to their opponents.
"I said the morning after we published it that it was the best coverage from a college newspaper of the election in the entire country," said former Managing Editor Steven Williamson, a Rutgers College junior. "It had comprehensive coverage and strong reporting. It had information that a lot of people would be looking for. It was well-designed, the photographs were great and everything just worked."
The editorial board agrees. Everyone worked in one cohesive unit the night of Nov. 4, 2008.
"We had all the separate tasks lined up well before that night. Everybody came into the office and they knew what they had to do —that's what it takes," said Assignments Editor Lauren Caruso, a School of Environmental and Biological Sciences junior. "There was no confusion."
Editors on assignment in Chicago and Phoenix said the election issue was produced with perfect cohesion, even though there were recent losses to the board and other burdens weighed on the students' minds.
"The fact that we can produce an extremely high quality paper on a daily basis is very encouraging," said former Photography Editor Brendan McInerney, a School of Arts and Sciences junior.
Several competing four-year university daily papers have an adviser, Bracaglia said, but the Targum does not.
"We do this by ourselves. We have a Board [of Trustees] who instruct us when we need the help. But we don't have an adviser here on a day-to-day basis, guiding us, telling us what to do. We make all the decisions ourselves," he said. "You can see that as a setback, but people coming out of Targum are going to be that much more prepared."
So how does the editorial board feel moving forward? In imitation of the election issue's headline, McInerney put it shortly.
"Targum: yes, we can," he said.