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The Appalachian Judged an All-American Newspaper

July 23, 2012. The Appalachian, the student newspaper at Appalachian State University, has been judged an All-American Newspaper by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) and was awarded four Marks of Distinction by the journalism organization in its recent critique.

The newspaper earned Marks of Distinction for: coverage and content; writing and editing; photos, art and graphics; and leadership. 

The Appalachian earned 1,000 points of a possible 1,090 points in its annual critique by the organization. The judge’s summary complimented The Appalachian for excelling in leadership.

“Its coverage of the Freedom of Speech issue involving LGBT and the ongoing investigation of the athletes involved in sexual assault cases demonstrates that,” the judge wrote. “Getting the sexual assault victims to speak on the record is an amazing piece of journalism. It may have been the only way to publish the story.”

The judge also praised the newspaper staff’s writing, editing and sports coverage. “Writing and editing are solid,” the judge continued. “Stories are well-sourced. It was a pleasure to read this paper and it certainly deserves All-American status.”

The editor in chief for the 2011-12 academic year was Justin Herberger, who graduated in May.

“The editorial board and I were thrilled to read this year’s ACP critique,” Herberger said. “The entire staff worked hard to provide coverage that mattered – and to write, edit and present that coverage in the best way possible. That wasn’t always easy, and there were some missteps along the way, but we’re all glad the ACP thought so highly of our efforts. I’m confident that next year’s leadership will continue to make changes and build on this year’s success.”

Hannah Pomphrey is the editor in chief for the 2012-13 academic year. “I’m proud of our ACP results, and excited to be taking the helm of a paper that’s produced such great journalism in the past,” she said. “Next year, we’ll be working to continue those efforts, and to push the paper to the next level both in print and online. Each day we hope to be a real and vital source of news, entertainment and opinion for the campus community. That’s where we’ll continue to focus our efforts next year.”

The Appalachian has consistently earned All-American or First Class designations for the past 25 years, and in most years has earned one or more Marks of Distinction, said David Freeman, assistant director for student engagement in the Lee H. McCaskey Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at Appalachian and adviser to the newspaper.

“I’m extremely proud of the 2011 staff,” Freeman said. “The newspaper had a lot of new and untrained staff last year. Through the hard work and dedication of those on the editorial board under Justin’s leadership, they were able to produce at a high level. The results of this critique demonstrate that dedication and willingness to work hard.”

ACP was founded in 1921 as a division of the National Scholastic Press Association to help college journalists and advisers improve their publications.