Collegian newspaper honored by Society of Professional Journalists

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

TU student paper selected as one of top three in the country

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recently recognized The University of Tulsa’s student newspaper, The Collegian, as one of the top three newspapers in the country among all universities of 5,000 students or fewer.

The paper is produced by a small staff of writers, designers and editors along with several freelance writers. Editor-in-Chief Kalen Petersen said the publication has greatly improved over the past few years.

“The Collegian has become a quality paper that truly serves as a voice for students,” he said. “It’s a production very much for, by and through student efforts.”

Petersen, a biology senior, has worked on the paper since his freshman year. As a former writer and editor of the sports, news and opinion sections, he has held almost every position on staff. He said The Collegian is a good example of how anyone from any major can take an active role in TU’s newspaper.

“The Collegian offers opportunities for all students to learn every aspect of the news cycle,” Petersen said. “Working for the paper taught me how to research stories, conduct interviews, and write and edit with clarity. In the field of journalism, experience is the best tutor.”

Petersen will research polycystic kidney disease as an intern at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., this summer. Next fall, he plans to study abroad in Seoul, South Korea.

J. Christopher Proctor, a senior majoring in political science, economics and history, will take over as The Collegian’s new editor-in-chief in August.

Next year’s staff plans to continue running one of its most-read sections, the back page, also known as “State-Run Media,” where current news stories are satirized strictly for entertainment.

“It’s a nice hook to the paper and allows us to express creativity through humor,” Petersen said. “It encourages people to pick up the paper.”

The SPJ is a national organization dedicated to protecting the rights of freedom of speech and press as well as promoting journalistic high standards and ethical behavior.

Collegian staff members recently received 17 individual awards in writing, photography and design from the Oklahoma Collegiate Media Association.

Gail Ellis