2021 Keystone Media Contest Lauds the Journalistic Excellence of Bucks County Community College’s Student Newspaper

Image via: Bucks County Intelligencer
Current editor-in-chief Alyssa Moore (left) meets with her predecessor, Sarah Siock, in the newspaper's office.

The Centurion, the student newspaper of Bucks County Community College, won a record 17 awards in the statewide 2021 Keystone Media contest. The recognition is especially notable because COVID-19 restrictions forced the staff to work from home.

Students won awards for articles and news videos on everything from student government elections and a shooting in a Bucks County park, to the pandemic and the presidential election, says the Bucks County Courier Times.

Journalism Professor Tony Rogers, faculty advisor of The Centurion, described the publication’s pandemic challenges: “Our campuses shut down last March, and since then the students had to write and edit their stories and lay out the paper from home,” he said. “The fact that they did such excellent work under such trying circumstances is absolutely amazing to me. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The Centurion swept the sports story and news video categories. It won second place in the general news category, and second place and honorable mention for ongoing news. It also won first place in the public service/enterprise package category, second place for feature story, and second place for personality profile.

The paper also won first and second place in the review category, first and second in the layout and design category, and first place for its website.

Working from home forced the paper’s staff to be innovative, Rogers noted. Reporters did interviews via Zoom, email or text. Editors downloaded Adobe software to their home computers or laptops so they could lay out the pages.

Rogers singled out two students in particular for their work: Chalfont resident Alyssa Moore, the current editor-in-chief; and Sarah Siock of Doylestown, last year’s editor-in-chief, who is now studying at Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J.

“Alyssa and Sarah were in uncharted territory when they took on the job of running a student newspaper in the midst of a global pandemic,” Rogers said. “This has undoubtedly been the toughest year for everyone in the history of this college, but Alyssa and Sarah absolutely rose to the occasion and met those challenges head-on.”

Click here for a full list of all the journalistic awards The Centurion earned this year. The Centurion is also available online.

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