Indiana Collegiate Press Association Newspaper Division 1 Winners

Rank Newspaper Points
1st place Indiana Daily Student Indiana University 72 points
2nd place Purdue Exponent, Purdue University 32 points
3rd place (tie) The Ball State Daily News, Ball State University 25 points
3rd place (tie) The Observer, University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College and Holy Cross College 25 points

Best Continuous Coverage of a Single Story

Greater Lafayette families reel as evictions moratorium expires

Judges' comments: “This thorough package covers the bases of a sad and complicated situation all the way from big-picture to the personal. It’s vivid, troubling, and puts faces on evictions and tenuous living situations amid the chaos of poor people trying to navigate a system in which they are largely powerless while COVID shook society like an earthquake.”


Initial on-campus COVID-19 student experience at Notre Dame

Judges' comments: “This package is strong all around. It’s well-researched and expository in a crisp way, and makes readers care about the students caught in the maddening disarray of early COVID response. The sources’ stories come through like an ensemble cast with very efficient storytelling that covers a lot of detail but never drags.”


Monroe County is enforcing IU greek house capacity

Judges' comments: “This solid package is well-reported and does a nailed-down job of anticipating questions readers would have and answering them. It’s thorough, balanced and straightforward.”

Best Editorial Cartoon

Are these even legal!?

Judges' comments: “The most interesting style with a high level of artistic quality in shading and color. Good representation of students. Top-notch illustration that draws in the viewer.”


Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Judges' comments: “Fine, poignant image of the late associate justice of the Supreme Court justice.”


Stop liking ecofascist tweets

Judges' comments: “An effective and artistic take on a tough subject relating to the pandemic and the possible conclusions that can be drawn from an environmental perspective.”

Best Entertainment Column

Full Dis-Chlo-Sure: The awful Oxford

Judges' comments: “This is a great comic take on the Oxford-comma war. It’s just plain funny throughout and well-crafted as it loops in unexpected directions and then circles back to the overall subject to start another entertaining digression before ending with a bang.”


The complicated case of Kanye West

Judges' comments: “One might think there is no new way to approach the topic of Kanye West, but this column proves otherwise. In fewer than 800 words it does a great job of illuminating the contradictory aspects of a figure who intrigues some and alienates others, and takes a stand instead of just observing.”


From trash to art: Spencer Shay’s use of the everyday

Judges' comments: “This piece on an artist and his art is well done, packing a lot of information into a compact review. It’s thoughtful and knowledgeable and makes a reader want to look up more of the subject’s artworks in addition to the ones linked in the review.”

Best Entertainment Story

The ball that never came

Judges' comments: “This is a strong and sad story that looks at the world of ballet but requires no affinity for ballet to be affected by it, as it focuses on two people who poured their hearts into a dream that was taken away. Readers will find themselves hoping for the best and feeling the gut punch of the outcome in this moving story.”


Scene in South Bend: Local restaurants are ‘playing catch up’

Judges' comments: “This story offers an enlightening look at local restaurants and the owners whose lives are tied up in them at a time of great uncertainty and difficulty. The story is interesting throughout and it effectively personalizes the abstract awareness that restaurants were struggling.”


Hyprov has audience members crying in hysterics

Judges' comments: “This story is an enjoyable account of a lighthearted evening that ably conveys the fun had by audience members and participants. Readers can find a smile in this story and enjoy the uncomplicated pleasure of imagining a happy occasion.”

Best Feature Page

Should you adopt a pet?

Judges' comments: “While it might seem simple to draw in readers with an image of a cute puppy, this page very effectively captures the thought process of an adoption. It’s a high impact page with color-coded blocks of texts leading the reader through the decision-making process. Superior effort and execution.”


Will IU be mine?

Judges' comments: “Excellent use of color and white space give this page a clean, single-topic design. This page invites the reader to cut out the pre-made valentine messages. Great idea for involving the reader. Well done.”


Portraits of a protest

Judges' comments: “Good use of typography to change the standing pandemic head to protest. While we’d like to see captions kept to the outside, this is solid coverage. More judicious editing of the pictures would have also helped this package. Still very effective. Nice work. ”

Best Feature Photo

The General returns

Judges' comments: “Great moment with a lot of emotion as Bob Knight returns to Assembly Hall. The former coach, along with former player Isiah Thomas, play to the crowd and the photographer took us there with this picture.”



Judges' comments: “Creative selection of three dance images with interesting lighting that convey a sense of rhythm and flow. Nice package.”


Paint Crew

Judges' comments: “Superior fan emotion carries this image that takes us to the fans in the stands. While not as technically sharp and slightly under-exposed, this picture is a good moment of fan intensity.”

Best Feature Story

Live and learn

Judges' comments: “Extraordinary. This story is difficult to read because it’s so heartrending but even more difficult to turn away from because it’s so gripping. It’s an excellent work of journalism — a pitch-perfect balance of human sympathy and reportorial detachment — from the first sentence to the last.”


A dangerous dream

Judges' comments: “This insightful and vivid story plunges ahead through a sad account that keeps the reader hoping things will get better for the subject and feeling apprehensive that they won’t. It’s an affecting look at relatable longings and actions that inadvertently entangle the subject in out-of-control consequences and leaves the reader wondering — and caring — what the unknown outcome will be.”


‘I started crying in the airplane’: Notre Dame student denied entry to U.S. amid tensions with Iran

Judges' comments: “This compelling story takes the reader on a head-spinning tour of the madness that caught one man in the grip of geopolitical maneuverings beyond his control or ability to foresee. It’s riveting, sad and infuriating as it distills the churn of international tensions down to the effects on one sympathetic person.”

Best Front Page

The General returns

Judges' comments: “Clean, excellent photo display and typography to herald the return of IU’s controversial coach. Good decision-making to keep the front to three stories so the dominant package could have maximum impact. The right photograph completes this front page winner.”


Can Biden Trump Trump?

Judges' comments: “Nice illustration with newsy impact of election coverage. Good explanation of various states falling into either candidate’s column.”


Feb. 11, 2020

Judges' comments: “Good use of a dominant package of pictures. Would have been stronger if it had been combined with Black History Month story down the page.”

Best Illustration

‘A little bit of dread’

Judges' comments: “This is an effective style and technique, quickly read, on the immunocompromised students and their fear dealing with the pandemic. Well done.”


Online student struggles

Judges' comments: “Some creative thinking behind this one as it has the right feel and is multi-dimensional as well. Kudos.”


ITaP, we have a problem

Judges' comments: “This nicely illustrates the frustration surrounding the technology issues facing students. Good take on “Houston, we have a problem.””

Best In-Depth Story

'A small piece of justice'

Judges' comments: “This riveting and horrifying story of a child and family mysteriously and suspiciously damaged is top-notch journalism. The objectivity that runs through this account of sad and infuriating and heartbreakingly hopeful circumstances makes it even more affecting.”


‘I thought God had presented this guy’: 20 years after reporting clergy abuse to the University, a Notre Dame survivor shares his story

Judges' comments: “The emotional whiplash, level of detail and skillful storytelling of this piece make it a standout. The portrait of a vulnerable and once-trusting subject who was betrayed and exploited but went on to climb courageously toward healing is terribly moving and ultimately hopeful. Excellent work.”



Judges' comments: “This story is a fascinating and disturbing look at potentially profound effects on health from police actions against protesters. It’s an unsettling exploration of an issue that is not widely known but should be, and is in the best tradition of journalism.”

Best Informational Graphic

A Mega-Timeline of 2020

Judges' comments: “Great work on a well-executed timeline of a “hellish year” moments of 2020. Lots of details laid out in a way that makes it easy to spend time reviewing a historical year. The illustrations are artistically strong to help make the timeline easy to follow. Congratulations to the whole team.”


S for success: Why spring 2020 grades were higher despite COVID-19

Judges' comments: “Strong series of graphics on 2020 grades. A tremendous amount of detailed work on a newsy subject that is effectively presented.”


What is in a scuba diver's tank?

Judges' comments: “Straightforward, but clean, impactful graphic that is easy to read on scuba diving. Would have helped to have the graphic on the same page as the story.”

Best News or Feature Series

Mental Health Services at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's Series

Judges' comments: “This series offers an intriguing and wide-ranging overview of stressed campus mental health services and insight into challenges faced by minority and international students. It’s rock-solid work, well explained and thoughtfully expressed.”


The Ball State Daily News: "Alumni Spotlight"

Judges' comments: “The two stories in this series offer compelling looks into the lives of two people dealing with challenges and backgrounds that readers will feel the effect of whether or not they have similar experiences. Solid work all around.”

Best News Photo

Indiana joins nationwide protest

Judges' comments: “Strong, newsy package with story-telling protest images. The middle image is the most impactful and could have been the main. Still, the news value of the event and complete coverage make this the clear winner.”


Welcome Home

Judges' comments: “The photographer captured a nice moment at a political rally between the vice president and governor. Nice to see a more interesting moment instead of the overused image of a speaker at the podium. Nice job. ”


Vigil for Valentina Delva

Judges' comments: “Quiet but effective pair of pictures taken at a campus vigil for a student who was killed by gunfire at an off-campus party. Could have been stronger with someone pausing at the makeshift memorial.”

Best News Story

Activists want to defund police departments. What could that look like in Bloomington?

Judges' comments: “This award category had several outstanding entries, but this story rose to the top with its excellent job of explaining and demystifying a complicated hot-button issue. The presentation was a key element, with the text bolstered by clarifying numbers and charts.”



Judges' comments: “This thorough FAQ hits it out of the park with one of journalism’s core functions, which is to inform on important matters in confusing and seemingly overwhelming times. It does an excellent job of seeing what urgent questions needed to be answered — and then clearly answering them in an accessible format. It’s workmanlike in the best sense of the word.”


Alumni reflect as LaFollette demolition is nearly complete

Judges' comments: “This story is a fun, fond farewell to a dorm that was a longtime campus landmark, a place where people live for a short time and remember for the rest of their lives. It’s well done in every aspect.”

Best Opinion Column

IU’s residential staff are at a breaking point

Judges' comments: “This column is good, solid advocacy journalism with an admirable level of sourcing. The sense of frustration felt by hardworking people stretched to their limits is almost palpable. It presents a persuasive argument for real change.”


Think college is hard? Try being an international student

Judges' comments: “This column is a powerful expression of the struggles faced by an international student, described in a way that is an eye-opener for readers who might not otherwise see the challenges of navigating an unfamiliar culture. It’s an intensely personal and brave outpouring that has the ability to affect any reader with a heart.”


Food for faith: what it’s like to be Muslim at Notre Dame

Judges' comments: “This column provides a heartening look at the experiences of a Muslim student at a signature Roman Catholic university. The description of serious scholarship and inclusion is a delight to read and a point of light in a world where both those qualities can seem in short supply. It’s a refreshing piece of work.”

Best Overall Design

The Ball State Daily News: Best Overall Design

Judges' comments: “Excellent content with great layouts, typography treatment as well as effective use of white space, illustrations, graphics all make this Valentine’s edition the clear overall winner. Great design work all around. Congratulations.”


March 5, 2020

Judges' comments: “Good dominate photo play and content in these solid layouts. Fewer mugshots and more attention to crops of smaller images would help make this edition sing.”


Indiana Statesman Feb. 11, 2020

Judges' comments: “Good content with an interesting picture package on the front rounds out this category. Nice organization on a variety of topics in this issue.”

Best Photo Essay/Picture Story

A Kirkwood quinceañera

Judges' comments: “All the pictures in this story are top-notch, both technically and their contribution to a part of the story. The viewer is given a strong sense of place as well as a tightly edited, coherent story line for those familiar with the annual Fiesta de Otoño as well as those who are not. Well done.”



Judges' comments: “A tough assignment for even the most seasoned photojournalist. Give the photographer credit, however, the pictures give the viewer a good sense of what the city looked and felt like on election day/night. Some solid images. Could have benefitted from a tighter edit of pictures containing signs.”


Bringing back Hinkle's

Judges' comments: “Very nice opening picture of a quiet moment as the restaurant opens in the morning light. That is supported by a good overall of a family talking with one of the restaurant owners. A nice detail and tighter interaction would have been a plus in the supporting images.”

Best Pull-Out/Wrap Section

Housing Guide Fall 2020

Judges' comments: “This campus housing guide has great organization, sophisticated illustrations and tons of practical advice that lead it to the top of the category.”


Source Visitors Guide Spring 2020

Judges' comments: “Great visitor’s guide for anyone taking a trip to campus. Well-thought out topics are presented effectively as well as lots of information about off-campus activities, eateries, etc.”


Print Edition of Election 2020 Insider

Judges' comments: “Solid, concise election section highlighted by an interesting cover illustration and double-truck graphic.”

Best Review

‘Tiger King’: sensational or Shakespearean?

Judges' comments: “The “Tiger King” documentary has become a fixture in the American joke cavalcade, but these two writers dig into the show in a serious way and unearth real messages about society and the human condition. This entry is a fascinating collection of insights from what might wrongly appear to be an unpromising subject. Excellent work.”



Judges' comments: “This is a thoughtful review that is detailed without spoilers. It ties a movie about a historic event to the world of the present and makes a persuasive case for a curious reader to see the film.”


Sonic the Hedgehog: An ode to fans old and new

Judges' comments: “The sheer unabashed fun of this piece is so infectious that a reader is happily pulled along by a writer who is openly and joyously a fan. It’s an upbeat jolt of energy that would make a statue smile.”

Best Single Issue

A new path

Judges' comments: “Stellar news content in this issue. Well-researched, interesting main story on a student dealing with her sister’s and her sister’s best friend’s unsolved death in 2017. This along with a full back page devoted to protest images helps this issue rise to the top. Excellent work.”


The Ball State Daily News

Judges' comments: “This live election issue works as a complete issue and includes effective use of typography, photographs, graphics and illustrations.”


Print Edition of The Observer for Monday, November 9, 2020

Judges' comments: “Great wrap on a big game as well as solid news coverage throughout. While much more gray than we’d like to see in this category, the content is well-organized and thoughtfully presented.”

Best Special Issue

Bicentennial Edition

Judges' comments: “High quality of presentation with all the bases covered. Well-organized presentation with excellent research, historical images, famous alums, and the list goes on and on. Congratulations to all who were involved in this Bicentennial keepsake. Tremendous effort.”


The Future is Now

Judges' comments: “Excellent special edition devoted to the MAC champions complete with two pullout posters. This bowl preview edition is also a winner.”


Print Edition of The Observer for Friday, August 21, 2020

Judges' comments: “Creative cover and editorial as well as a creative back cover, both dealing with the pandemic, give this issue the nod even though there is only text on the inside.”

Best Special Section Front/Cover

Print Edition for Friday, August 21, 2020

Judges' comments: “Stark presentation of a sobering subject with effective use of type and white space helped this editorial stand out. Kudos to all who worked on this page.”


Housing Guide Fall 2020

Judges' comments: “A clean, sophisticated illustration made this housing guide a strong contender. The good use of white space also contributed to the light and airy feel of the topic at hand. Well done.”


International Student Guide

Judges' comments: “Simple, but artistically strong illustration makes this a successful front cover for the International Student Guide. Nice use of shading gave it a three-dimensional quality as well.”

Best Sports Column

Are student-athletes free to speak their minds?

Judges' comments: “This column takes square aim at a Division I sports machine’s steamroller-style efforts to censor controversial speech, control the message of journalists and limit access to athletes. The sense that the writer is pushing back in a world of heavy-handed control freaks would energize any reader with an independent spirit.”


A sincere apology to underappreciated sports

Judges' comments: “This column is loaded with opportunities for prickly sports fans to say hey, that’s not funny, but it is funny throughout, to the point of laugh-out-loud lines. It’s an unholy elbow to the ribs again and again, a welcome break from conventional deference, and it makes its points quickly and exits the stage with the humor still fresh.”


Hoosier daddy? Not Bob Knight

Judges' comments: “This blistering column is a bracing antidote to the hagiography and let-bygones-be-bygones zeitgeist surrounding an iconic former coach upon his sentimental golden-years return to a place where he was and is lionized despite a history of extremes and expulsion. It’s journalism without fear or favor.”

Best Sports Feature Story

The General comes home

Judges' comments: “This feature is an unflinching, refreshingly nuanced, sprawling overview of the long-awaited return of an epochal coach to the scene of his triumphant domination and tawdry departure. Even enemies — which the coach made with apparent determination — might be saddened by the portrayal of a memory-challenged old man longing for the companionship of old friends and the adulation of old times.”


Uncovering the truth about Purdue's first black basketball player

Judges' comments: “This feature is a fascinating and thought-provoking search for the story behind a trailblazing athlete’s arrival and departure from a basketball program, pieced together by the writer like an archaeologist working with scattered shards. The intriguing result is a collection of answers and questions without answers, uniting readers with the writer in knowing what is present and wishing for what is absent.”


Fr. Joseph Carey reflects on past roles, women’s lacrosse chaplaincy

Judges' comments: “This feature is a life-affirming and affectionate portrait of a longtime sports chaplain and fan sharing his memories and enthusiasm. It’s upbeat and encouraging and illuminating, a heartening reminder that the business of major college sports is not all business.”

Best Sports News Story

IU football can’t close out Tennessee in the Gator Bowl

Judges' comments: “This vivid, well-written story describes and delivers drama. It makes a reader feel the initial exhilaration and crashing disappointment of a team with visions of turning a long-hoped-for corner.”


No. 4 Irish beat No. 1 Tigers in overtime thriller for first win over top-ranked team in Kelly era

Judges' comments: “Energetic writing and a sense of enjoyment empower this thorough look at a decisive thriller game that kept fans riveted into overtime. Reading the writer’s skilled use of language is like watching an athlete who appears to be effortlessly in the zone thanks to the effort that went into reaching the zone.”


Danny Pinter bench presses for Boys and Girls Clubs of Muncie at NFL Combine

Judges' comments: “This lively feature provides a solid portrayal of an athlete with a heart for community — and the community for which he has a heart. It’s well-written, clear and encouraging.”

Best Sports Page

Into the deep end

Judges' comments: “Cool, dominant, single-story page comes together with good headline treatment and the right time to reverse the type. Well executed, all-around design.”


IU beats Penn State

Judges' comments: “Huge football victory is well-organized and effectively displayed with photos and graphics. Great mix of elements make this a keeper.”


Leading the Charge

Judges' comments: “Solid mid-season look at the three leading scorers on the basketball team complemented with additional stats/info on each player.”

Best Sports Photo

Victory at Last

Judges' comments: “An ecstatic redshirt running back conveys the joy of winning in this celebratory image. Good eye and quick thinking by the photographer to spot someone showing their emotion after such an important game.”


Trevion Williams

Judges' comments: “Good job by the photographer to gain a higher angle to capture this battle under the basket. Great face and good composition elevate this sports action picture.”


Grace Berger introduction

Judges' comments: “The photographer got in just the right position to capture the player who is the focus of a player profile. The spotlight lighting was also a plus. A nice main image for this story.”

Best Staff Editorial

IU President Michael McRobbie ignored student needs. It will cost him his legacy.

Judges' comments: “This editorial provides an excellent overview of a departed university president’s career, shining a light that is neither kind nor unjustly unkind as it lays out details of a momentous period for readers’ scrutiny. It’s instructive and an example of why some historians argue that events may be best understood contemporaneously.”


Protecting Purdue's image instead of its people

Judges' comments: “This scathing picture of reckless decision-making and demagogic distraction-mongering achieves the rare feat of being an exciting editorial to read, though it likely was not a thrill for the university administration that was targeted. It’s a call-out that builds its case on facts and logic to show the fiction and illogic behind expedient actions of people in power.”


Observer Editorial: Frankly, this is embarrassing

Judges' comments: “This editorial takes on hypocrisy — and doesn’t take any nonsense — in spotlighting the actions of a university leader who was rich with advice but poor on following that advice. It leaves no wiggle room and shows the straightforward power of telling the truth.”

Best Themed Issue

Freshman Edition

Judges' comments: “Incredible coverage, well-presented for incoming freshmen students. A variety of topics covered, some with stories from the previous year, give this issue the breadth needed to acclimate the incoming class of 2024.”


The Partnership Project

Judges' comments: “Great design and illustrations elevate this partnership issue with Muncie Community Schools. Good variety of topics dealing with the pandemic and remote learning as well as stories on at-risk students and a special education program.”


ISU 101 2020

Judges' comments: “A back-to-school issue complete with good tips for students about campus and other aspects of campus life. Well-organized and presented with all staff-generated content.”