The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) recently announced its 2012 Mark of Excellence national winners and finalists, including a multimedia reporting project by the West Virginia University P.I. Reed School of Journalism.
After earning first place in the regional competition, West Virginia Uncovered was named a national finalist and was one of three projects recognized nationwide as Best Independent Online Student Publication for a large university.
Launched in 2008, West Virginia Uncovered is a multimedia web project that provides training and content to newspapers throughout the state and region. Created by the School of Journalism, “West Virginia Uncovered” aims to help small rural newspapers transition to the digital space by providing multimedia news-features for their websites and provide hands-on training to their journalists. Launched in Fall 2008, the project is funded by grants from the Ford Foundation, McCormick Foundation, and Benedum Foundation.
The project has earned numerous awards including three first- and second-place honors for online feature reporting the SPJ Region 4 Mark of Excellence Awards program, a MarCom award for student publication, and a feature reporting award at the Broadcast Education Association’s 2012 Festival of Media Arts.
SPJ’s annual Mark of Excellence Awards recognizes collegiate work published or broadcasted during the previous year. This year, student journalists submitted more than 4,600 entries. The awards honor the best in student journalism. Judges were directed to choose only those entries which they felt were outstanding work worthy of a national honor. National Mark of Excellence Award judges can choose up to one national winner in each category and two national finalists (runners-up).
Winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of the SPJ’s 12 regional competitions. Each first-place regional winner advanced to the national competition.
The School of Journalism participates in Region 4, which comprises Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia and parts of western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh. School divisions are based on student enrollment, including both graduate and undergraduate enrollment.