Campus Paper at ‘Head of Class’

NEW PALTZ — SUNY New Paltz’ student-run newspaper, The Oracle, recently won second place in the Society for Collegiate Journalists Awards for general excellence. This is the second consecutive award for the Oracle, which won third place in 1999.

In addition to the general excellence award, Oracle reporter Melissa Mansfield was awarded third place for excellence in sports reporting. Mansfield, a Poughkeepsie resident, is majoring in French, with minors in journalism and international relations.

The Oracle is fully staffed and produced by SUNY New Paltz students. In addition to covering campus events, the weekly paper reports on community and regional issues and features a wide range of commentary.

“They don’t shy away from issues facing the campus,” said Shelly Wright, a lecturer in the university’s Communications and Media Department.

“Nobody really understands the level of commitment that goes into this paper,” said Josh Anderson, a senior journalism major who was the paper’s editor during in the spring and fall of 2000. “It’s good to have that commitment validated for the hardworking members of The Oracle.”

The Society for Collegiate Journalists is the nation’s oldest honors society for the journalism profession, with chapters on more than 100 campuses. The awards competition is unique in the fact that working professional journalists serve as judges, not faculty. “You have to impress professional journalists with your reporting and the mission of your paper,” Wright said.