The newsroom for The Tiger at Clemson University is conspicuously quiet these days. Members of South Carolina’s oldest student-run, college newspaper avoid meeting as one large group in the Tiger Student Media suite on the third floor of the Hendrix Student Center. Health and safety protocols, designed to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, limit the number of people gathered in confined spaces at the university. The Tiger started operating in virtual spaces in 2020 shortly after the coronavirus became a pandemic. The move took some getting used to, but didn’t “stop the presses.” Student journalists delivered a steady stream of content. The South Carolina Press Association (SCPA) recognized the work and announced, The Tiger is the recipient of 13 SCPA awards. The editor-in-chief for the newspaper said the announcement is an honor and a reason to celebrate on several fronts.
“These awards are a mark of The Tiger continuing to grow and make its mark as a truly noteworthy student newspaper,” Rebecca West said. “I’ve been editor-in-chief for five semesters, and much of that time has been spent rebuilding and recruiting.”
The Tiger’s senior staff nearly doubled in size from fall of 2019 to the end of 2020. West said the increased staff size resulted in more quality content for readers.
“We’ve only improved in the few months that followed our SCPA award entries. I’m confident that The Tiger will continue to improve after I graduate this spring,” West continued.
The Tiger News came in first place for several of its 13 SCPA awards.
- Photograph – Davis Stevens, a senior management major
- Cartoon or Illustration – Star Blevins, a sophomore architecture major
- Infographic – David Ferrara, a sophomore philosophy and economics major
- Video – Elizabeth O’Donnell, a senior English major
- Cartoon or Illustration – Star Blevins
- Photograph – Caleb Browder, a junior sports communication major
- Sports Photograph – Caleb Browder
- Use of Social Media – Elizabeth O’Donnell and Calista Lewis-Flores, a senior sociology major
- Website – Staff
- General Excellence – Staff
- Cartoon or Illustration – Star Blevins
- Specialty Page Design – Nicole Clamp, graphic communication alumna
- Video – Ryan Sweeney, a senior management major, and Rebecca West, a senior mechanical engineering and English major
“The SCPA Contest Awards go to the best of the best and The Tiger News team fits that bill in everything it does,” said Wanda Johnson, Tiger Student Media advisor. “Members of Tiger Student Media represent the high caliber of students who study and actively engage with the community at Clemson. Our student media organizations either allow them to gain valuable field experience or tap into newly discovered passions.”
Cranking out award-winning content in any environment can be a challenge, but West said members of The Tiger wouldn’t allow circumstances associated with the pandemic to taint the spirit of camaraderie they enjoy.
“We’ve even been investing in staff bonding through virtual avenues or socially-distanced picnics to ensure that our staff members still feel connected to each other,” she said. “The Tiger doesn’t take concessions when it comes to cancelling events; instead, we plan on doing the same things we always have, but we figure out how we can do those things safely.”
West said it also helps that most team members can write, edit, and design virtually and remotely, which is a huge benefit since the work isn’t slowing down. The Tiger recently started a podcast called The Tiger Talks, and readers can sign up here for the newsletter that debuted in January.
“Great things are coming from The Tiger, and this is only the beginning!”
SCPA contests honor the best in SC journalism and advertising. The association will present 2020 News Contest awards to recipients on October 23 during its annual meeting.
The Tiger News is one of five student media organizations in Clemson’s department of communication which is in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. The Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) was established in July 2016. CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
The SCPA was established in 1852 and represents 15 daily and 75 weekly newspapers in South Carolina. The association’s objectives are to promote the welfare of the newspaper profession, elevate its standards and enlarge its usefulness and foster friendly relationships among members.
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