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Flagler College Gargoyle students took home an award and helped publish a homeless newspaper while attending a Florida College Press Association/Society of Professional Journalists conference in Hollywood, Fla., this April.
The Gargoyle, Flagler’s campus newspaper, took second place in best general news writing in the 2008 Better Newspaper Contest, hosted by FCPA.
Graduating seniors Haley Walker (the Gargoyle’s editor), Erica Eding (opinion editor) and Danielle Marsh (past editor) all wrote pieces that were part of the entries we submitted.
Other winners in the category were much larger Florida universities. First place went to the University of North Florida Spinnaker, and third went to Florida A&M’s The FAMUAN.
“Obviously, I’m proud of them for winning this award, as the other winners in that category were much larger,” adviser and Director of Public Information Brian Thompson said. “But I’m just as proud that they all took part in putting out the homeless newspaper. I think that was a terrific opportunity, and they really took a lot away from that experience.”
Students from Flagler visited the COSAC homeless shelter of Ft. Lauderdale to help produce the Homeless Voice, the nation’s second-largest homeless newspaper.
The staff, made up of 25 students and recent grads from five Florida colleges, worked well into the night to write and edit the paper, covering topics from a homeless wedding to a profile on the shelter’s director.
Rising senior and Gargoyle Co-Editor Matthew Boyle says it was an experience he’ll never forget.
“I really liked that we got to actually experience a real newsroom setting,” he said. “It is amazing that young journalists from all over the state could come together that night for a common purpose and achieve the high-quality finished product that we did.”
To see how the project came together and to read the issue of the Homeless Voice that the Gargoyle staffers worked on, visit http://www.spjchapters.org/southflorida/homeless/
The three stories in the Better Newspaper entry were: