NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz’s independent student newspaper, The New Paltz Oracle Online Edition, secured an impressive National Finalist title in the 2010 Mark of Excellence for “Best Affiliated Web site.” This annual national competition is organized by the Society of Professional Journalists. The New Paltz Oracle Online Edition shared the spoils with Southern Utah University “SUU News” with the top position going to Western Kentucky University’s “wkuherald.com.”
Fellow competitors within this category were George Washington University, University of California, Los Angeles, Florida A&M University, Central Michigan University, Western Kentucky University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Iowa State University, Baylor University and University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Excellence in a student print publication with a sophisticated Web component defines the criteria for the award. The Web site features stories published in the weekly print edition of The New Paltz Oracle enhanced with additional photographs and multimedia components.
“We are extremely proud to have been named one of the top three college newspaper Web sites in the country. My staff and I are humbled to be among such elite company,” said managing editor, Julie Mansmann.
The Oracle’s success follows the staff’s previous award when managing editor/Web chief, Maxim Alter ’11 (Journalism) and managing editor Julie Mannesmann ’11 (Journalism), along with former managing editor, Pierce Lydon ’10 (Journalism), secured first place for “Best Affiliated Web site” at the SPJ’s Region 1 conference in Providence, R.I. on April 9.
The New Paltz Oracle Online Edition then advanced to the national competition where the “National Mark of Excellence Award” judges choose one national winner plus two national finalists in their category (“Best Affiliated Web site”).
The competition, and consequently the judging criteria at this national level, was intense as it drew 4,000 entries from across the nation. Other category winners included Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, the University of Michigan, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Southern California and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We at The New Paltz Oracle are extremely proud that our Web site was awarded top honors, as it is less than one year old,” Mansmann said.
“Being the managing editor and the Web chief for this publication has been a great learning experience for me. It has taught me that I can create and maintain an award-winning website and help manage a newspaper at the same time,” Alter said. “That’s the beauty of being part of The New Paltz Oracle. We can learn so many different skills that will help us in our future in journalism.”