The Johnsonian Wins First-Place Student Newspaper in the State

April 11, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point The Johnsonian beat out other state school newspapers such as The Daily Gamecock and The Tiger.
bullet point The Johnsonian took home more than 20 other awards as well.

Johnsonian Managing Editor Jacob Hallex and Editor-in-Chief
Carolyn Rennix celebrate the S.C. Press Association

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — On April 8, the S.C. Press Association awarded The Johnsonian, Winthrop University's student newspaper, its top prize for general excellence.

This is the first time the Winthrop paper has won first place in the category for institutions with 5,000+ students. The Johnsonian beat out rivals The Daily Gamecock at the University of South Carolina, which was awarded second place, and The Tiger at Clemson University, third place.

Judges wrote that the small staff of 20 who report, write and edit the weekly newspaper should be praised. Their comments about the two issues submitted (9/30/15 and 11/11/15):

"The Johnsonian is an excellent newspaper with high story counts, breadth of coverage and superior photography. The staff tackles an array of social and political issues and provides a strong editorial voice. The swarm coverage of presidential politics was impressive."

Editor Carolyn Rennix accepted the award at USC-Aiken. She said that although The Johnsonian's staff is small, members work hard every week to share quality news with the campus community.

"I believe that the judges finally acknowledged that despite our size, we are competitive with the larger universities and produce quality news in print and online every week," said Rennix, a mass communication major from Saint Helena Island. "We made a lot of positive changes this last year and I believe our newspaper reflects that, and I'm happy others recognized our improvements. I am very honored to be part of this staff during this exciting time and want to thank everyone who has contributed to the production of The Johnsonian and, of course, our readers."

The paper's advisor is Guy Reel of the Department of Mass Communication.

"I couldn't be more proud of The Johnsonian and its staff," Reel said. "They achieved something this year that no other student newspaper staff has done at Winthrop, and they did it against the best in the state. It's a testament to their hard work, perseverance and creativity in delivering the news."

In addition to the General Excellence Award, The Johnsonian also took home six other first-place awards, 12 second-place awards, three third-place awards and one fourth-place award.

For more information, contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or

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