Indiana Collegiate Press Association News Magazine Winners

Rank News Magazine Points
1st place Scholastic, University of Notre Dame 72 points
2nd place The Franklin, Franklin College 48 points
3rd place Ball Bearings Magazine, Ball State University 11 points

Best Editorial

A new era calls for change

Judges' comments: “A fantastic use of the "facts plus" approach to opinion, relying heavily on the insights of sources along with a keen sense of commentary to provide the readers with value and insight. The piece presses the administration for improved race relations in a time of national and local strife while remaining above the fray of hyperbolic rhetoric. A true winner in every sense of the word.”


During a new time, Franklin College tries

Judges' comments: “A great job of using sources and background information to connect the readers to the content. In the time of COVID-19, the shared struggle of professors and students can fray even the steadiest of nerves. What we have come to see here is how those struggles manifested themselves at this institution and how the publication sees this situation through the lens of the entire campus.”


Staff Endorsement: Whittle-Rotolo Promise Necessary Change

Judges' comments: “A strong local editorial that examines the local election of student government from an opinionated and yet even-handed perspective. A solid read in a great field of competitors.”

Best Entertainment Column

Scholastic's Premier Podcast Recommendations

Judges' comments: “A true column with strong recommendations for people interested in navigating the world of podcasts during the pandemic. This was a great piece to read because it offered rationale for the choices provided to the readers without overselling the content in each choice. Very good job.”


Love, Crime and History in Spanish Dramas

Judges' comments: “This piece provides a solid review of an interesting subject that has seemingly flown under the radar of most folks. The author provides a rich, clear read on a topic that will likely pique the interest of many readers.”

Best Entertainment Story

From Pen to Paper

Judges' comments: “A very nice look at the evolution of an idea that became an entertainment endeavor for the subject. This straddles the line between a profile and a column, but it provides strong enough content to connect the reader with the material in an engaging and interesting fashion.”

Best Essay

Mental Health in the Time of Coronavirus: Grief, Relief and Everything in Between

Judges' comments: “A powerful look at the pain, anxiety and other mental health struggles exacerbated by the pandemic. This piece does a good job of peeling back the surface layers of "happy talk" regarding what we must do to make it through and showcases what people are struggling with as they cope with this "new normal."”


Addiction demands attention

Judges' comments: “A heart-felt personal story about a family member gone astray. This piece is both emotionally conscious as well as wide reaching as it tackles the issues of addiction and substance abuse in a personal and professional way.”


A Thank You to the Ushers of Notre Dame

Judges' comments: “A solid look at a group of people often overlooked. The writer does a great job of connecting his personal feelings with a group the audience can embrace. A strong piece in a field of able contenders.”

Best Feature Story

A New Leader

Judges' comments: “This article does a good job of capturing the new president and his devotion to the school. The second source of the former football coach solidifies the president's personality. Cleanly written and, while it is important to mention the past president's problems (wow!), it is good to focus on the new leader and not go into long background on that court case.”


A Conversation with My Custodian: Meeting the People We See Every Day

Judges' comments: “The personality of the custodian is captured in this article through strong, descriptive writing. The reader can see this man as he makes his rounds in the dorm. The article needs a second source, and I want to know more about his art. It is used in the lead, but the writer doesn't say anything more about it.”


Franklin College alumna alleges Indianapolis school fired her for being gay

Judges' comments: “The impact of the school's decision on the trainer's life is captured well. I am glad the writer reached out to the school, which responded with a statement from its head. It would have been nice if the head had shown the courage to actually speak with the writer.”

Best Humor Column

By the Numbers: Stir Crazy Edition

Judges' comments: “It can be difficult to find humor in the pandemic, but this author does a great "by the numbers" approach to the good, the bad and the truly awkward elements of being stuck home alone in the time of COVID-19.”


Thriving Alone

Judges' comments: “This author takes a fun and interesting look at the issues of dating on campus and the many perils and pitfalls associated with it. A fun read.”

Best In-Depth Story

Students Stand for Black Lives: The Cry for Change on Campus

Judges' comments: “Great job of providing a lot of depth and angles on the BLM movement at the university. Kudos for including the university's response and not having a one-sided article filled with speculation.”


Lost Credit

Judges' comments: “For the students affected by the loss of accreditation, this is an extremely important story. It was good to read about how the problem occurred and how the school is trying to address it, but the human factor elevated this work.”


Notre Dame Unmasked: Exploring Division and Disarray in the Wake of Reopening

Judges' comments: “Good overview of everything that went into the craziness that was the start of the fall semester during a pandemic. It is nice to see various sources who reported different experiences, with a mixture of positive and negative examples and opinions.”

Best News or Feature Column

Campus closed down. Then my laptop died.

Judges' comments: “This column does a good job of outlining the problems students face from the pandemic and puts a personal spin on it with the writer's experience. She does what a good columnist should do and offers solutions, not just a litany of complaints about the problem.”


Suicidal thoughts in young people

Judges' comments: “Well-researched and timely. The writer's use of quoting signs outside a high school is effective in presenting the fears and pressures students face.”


YA Must-Reads

Judges' comments: “We all need a break, and the writer gives suggestions on which books can provide that respite. This was a light and fun read. It shows topics don't have to be dark and serious to make a column worth reading.”

Best News Story

America First Union leaders shared racist messages in private chats

Judges' comments: “A good story that looks at a terrible situation through the lens of an inside source. It was a tough read, but it shone a spotlight on something we should all understand: These groups are getting bolder and recruiting in places beyond the underbelly of society.”


Course Continuity: The Transition to Remote Learning

Judges' comments: “A sharp, clear piece on the chaos surrounding the 2020 transition to online education at this school. The sources provide varied perspectives and some quality insight.”


America First' nationalist group flyers found on campus

Judges' comments: “This piece shined a light in a dark corner of society. The recruitment of "nationalists" so close to this campus is something people should be aware of. A nice job of providing information without relying on hype or opinion.”

Best Opinion Column

Reopening for In-Person Classes was a Good Decision. Reopening for In-Person Classes Without an Effective Testing and Tracing Apparatus was Not.

Judges' comments: “The best of this category because it provides a discussion of a critical topic from a local angle. Rather than prattle on about things for which there are no answers or no audience-based connection, the author took aim at the pandemic and his school's choice to reopen. The examination is both fair and detailed, giving this the nod in this category.”


Does college matter amid pandemic?

Judges' comments: “A solid column that offers students an opportunity to answer an old question through a new lens. The concept of college and its value overall have long been debated in many venues. In the wake of the pandemic, this author re-examines the issue and provides some solid answers.”


What’s next as newsrooms shrink?

Judges' comments: “Although this could be viewed as ‘inside baseball’ for journalists, the author actually makes a strong and compelling point about the value of journalism for all readers and users. This is both a vital piece and a wake-up call for people who think newspapers' deaths don't affect them.”

Best Review

"The Book Review Podcast" from the New York Times

Judges' comments: “A nice, topical piece on a podcast that provides education and insight to the listeners. A tight, clear, strongly written review”


Healer: A Must-Listen Album for a Satisfying Afternoon

Judges' comments: “A quality album review that doesn’t oversell the content or the band. Nice work overall with this.”

Best Sports Column

Column: Looking Ahead: The Best Is Yet to Come ... And Almost Here

Judges' comments: “The column does a few nice things by providing both context for the upcoming season as well as outlining the unfair expectations of fans in regard to the coaching staff. The layout for the season ahead doesn't lapse into a game-by-game recounting of what could happen, but instead touches on the high points well enough to make the case the author wants to make.”


Future of the Season

Judges' comments: “This piece provides a good look at the season that was, including the games as well as the ups and downs associated with the pandemic. It provided both a solid recap and a reminder of how the team ended up where it did.”

Best Sports Feature Story

Game On

Judges' comments: “A fantastic look at an off-the-beaten-path sport. The coverage of e-sports has grown over the years, but this piece takes an in-depth look at how they work, who plays them and why colleges like this one are getting on board with the movement. Great job.”


Ryan Bixler chooses to spend a fifth year playing baseball at Franklin

Judges' comments: “A strong read on a valuable topic that faces many student athletes: The end of a career. In this piece, the author offers a twist based on the COVID-19 situation, explaining how playing careers seemingly came to a screeching end only to be reinvigorated with extensions in the eligibility.”


Featured Performer: John Mooney

Judges' comments: “A nice look at a good player who is performing above and beyond expectations.”

Best Sports News Story

Teams could face more changes as COVID-19 worsens

Judges' comments: “A good look at the impact the pandemic had on the sports teams. Good work overall in explaining how changes were continuing the overall disappointment.”


Michigan: Mucking It Up at Michigan

Judges' comments: “Great game story on an important clash with a ranked opponent. It was a solid read.”


All HCAC fall competitions postponed due to COVID-19

Judges' comments: “A good look at how students figured out what the COVID-19 situation was going to mean to them.”

Best Cover Design

Even Apart, We Stand Together

Judges' comments: “A creative, out-of-the-box visual concept for a topic that's dificult to illustrate — how we function together during a pandemic.”


Ball Bearings Magazine: The Color Issue

Judges' comments: “This simple illo of a rainbow array of balloons and a dynamic type treatment work well to illustrate an issue centered on a unifyling theme: color.”


Tracing Fault Lines: The Story of Discord and Dialogue on Campus

Judges' comments: “Thoughtful illustration communicating the discord and desire for connection between political ideologies — and you visually tied it to your specific Notre Dame readership.”

Best Feature Photo

The Distance Between Us: Socializing During the Pandemic

Judges' comments: “This socially distanced scene captures a moment that will be a part of all of our collective memories of living through the pandemic.”


The Marching Band's New Status Quo

Judges' comments: “Charming, double-take moment of a band member playing through his mask.”


Discussion from Division

Judges' comments: “Lovely lighting.”

Best Illustration

Navigating COVID

Judges' comments: “Clever cartoon panel uses illustrations to track how people are dealing with Covid in thier daily lives.”


Calling for change

Judges' comments: “Using a cartoon is a fun way to present a quote.”

Best News Photo

Anti-Amy Coney Barrett Demonstration Photo Package

Judges' comments: “Unique in that readers can't see the protesters' faces, but the image, with the candid messages on the two signs, catches immediate attention and spurs thought.”


Pro-Amy Coney Barrett Photo Package

Judges' comments: “While more of a group shot, this photo still effectively captures the common message the individuals in the group are expressing.”


BLM March

Judges' comments: “Compelling photo that is well shot and framed.”

Best Overall Design

The Franklin November and December 2020 Issues

Judges' comments: “Beautiful, minimalist color scheme, liberal trust in and use of white space and simple font selection make this a visually successful piece.”


Notre Dame Unmasked: Exploring Division and Disarray in the Wake of Reopening

Judges' comments: “The use of photos, especially the ones spanning two pages, contribute to a dynamic presentation of this magazine.”

Best Photo Essay or Picture Story

Fostering Makers in Muncie

Judges' comments: “Gorgeous photos tell a comprehensive story of this photographer doing good work in the community (It's hard to photograph photographers — kudos!).”

Best Single Issue

The Franklin - December 2020

Judges' comments: “A visually elegant magazine covering a wide range of topics for its audience including localization of national issues like the CARES Act. Solid reporting. Well done.”


Ball Bearings Magazine (Fall 2020)

Judges' comments: “Fun, free-wheeling issue where content is tied to the theme of color. That leaves the door open to a broad range of stories and the staff has used that to good advantage.”


Tracing Fault Lines: The Story of Discord and Dialogue on Campus

Judges' comments: “An impressive general interest magazine thoughtfully covering an expansive variety of stories for readers. Cohensive presentation. Good job.”

Best Single Story or Package Design

Stained Glass: The Lavender Ceiling

Judges' comments: “This package offers so much by way of visual storytelling — right down to a pull-out that explains the term in the title, "lavender ceiling." The lavender appearing throughout and black & white/duotone photos make for a cohesive presentation.”


Students Stand for Black Lives: The Cry for Change on Campus

Judges' comments: “Reversed-out type can often be heavy and overwhelming but fits here given the weighty topic. Powerful look at BLM support on Notre Dame's campus and the push for a racial reckoning.”



Judges' comments: “Pull-outs and graphs contribute considerably to telling this important story chronicling the loss of accreditation for an education program and the ensuing fallout.”

Best Sports Photo

From Downward Dog to Down, Doggy Photo Package

Judges' comments: “This entry superbly captures human and canine expressions and movements!!”


Quarantine Jogs

Judges' comments: “The photographer captures the joy of running seen on the faces of the runners and their canine companions”

Best Themed Issue

Even Apart, We Stand Together

Judges' comments: “This issue of the Scholastic was put together in response to the onset of Covid-19 and the transition to online learning. The staff covers many issues that came up in just four weeks and gives their readership timely information while working away from campus. Nice job!”


2019 Football Review

Judges' comments: “One might get the idea from this expansive guide that football is important at Notre Dame! Great job wrangling a mix of profiles, features, recaps and more. This is a treasure trove that gives readers a deep dive and perspective on the season.”


Ball Bearings Magazine: The Color Issue

Judges' comments: “An interesting concept issue with most topics tied to colors — ‘Feeling Blue,’ ‘Is a global shutdown green?’ etc. There's a wide range of interesting subjects tackled here. Graphics and charts are liberally integrated and help organize and contextualize the information. For all the information, the design remains airy, fun and engaging. Well done.”