Athens, Ga. — The Red & Black won top place for General Excellence in the Georgia Collegiate Press Association awards for 2020. For decades, GCPA’s Better Newspaper Contest has recognized the top student journalism in the state. The awards were presented virtually on Feb. 19, 2021.
“General Excellence recognition is always meaningful because it represents work of the entire staff throughout the year — in this case, a year unlike any other,” said Rebecca Burns, executive director and newsroom adviser for The Red & Black. “The Red & Black journalists do great work seven days a week, all year long, in print and online, but it’s always nice to have outside recognition of these efforts.”
The general excellence award considers placement by a student news organization in various categories in the contest as well as overall quality of four print editions that reflect work throughout the year. The Red & Black’s entries were Jan. 30, 2020, Feb. 27, 2020, August 2020 and November 2020. The Red & Black typically produces a weekly print issue, but moved to monthly issues after April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Online news continues to be published daily.
In addition to the collective effort of the staff, the GCPA contest recognizes individual work. Sherry Liang, current editor in chief, took first place for news reporting and investigative reporting as well as second place for editorial writing.
“The pandemic and racial justice movement are probably going to be some of the most defining moments of our lifetime — what are the odds we get to be student journalists through this? I am very grateful for those odds and the opportunity to write these articles for The Red & Black,” Liang said. “Despite the challenges, this year was a catalyst for more inclusive coverage and community building. The progression of our work in 2020, award-winning or not, was reflective of those efforts.”
Kathryn Skeean, assistant photo editor, took top place for sports and news photography. “I am so grateful to be able to represent and be part of such a supportive organization of such talented students,” Skeean said. “As for the winning photos, I feel so fortunate to have witnessed such strong and emotional moments and share them with the world.”
Red & Black staff awards
General Excellence — First Place
General Photography Excellence — First Place
Layout & Design Excellence — Third Place
Best Website — Third Place
Best Campus Community Service: News — First Place
Best Campus Community Service: Sports — First Place
Best Campus Community Service: Features — First Place
Best Campus Community Service: Editorial — Second Place
These are in Group I (freshmen or sophomores) or Group II (juniors and seniors). A student might have been in Group I in the spring and Group II in the fall.
Kathryn Skeean, 1st Place, Best Sports Photo, Group I: Anthony Edwards celebrates a dunk
Kathryn Skeean, 1st Place, Best News Photo, Group II: ‘Trump Train’ meets Black Lives Matter
Taylor Gerlach, Cameren Rogers, Kathryn Skeean, 1st Place, Best Photo Essay, Group II: ‘This is what democracy looks like’
Austin Roper, 2nd Place, Best Sports Story, Group II: Behind the Zamboni
Sherry Liang, 2nd Place, Best Editorial, Group I: Wake up call
Stroud Payne, 1st Place, Best Editorial, Group I: Cutting a lifeline
Erin Schilling, 3rd Place, Best Editorial, Group II: A global pandemic was not part of my senior year plans
Jeremy Person, 2nd Place, Best Editorial, Group II: There is hope beneath the pain
Hunter Rigall and Megan Mittelhammer, 2nd Place, Best News Story, Group II: Police use tear gas on peaceful protesters
Sherry Liang, 1st Place, Best News Story, Group II: Viral Anxiety
Sherry Liang, 1st Place, Best Investigative Story, Group II: How UGA IFC and Panhellenic recruitment hinders diversity
About The Red & Black
Founded in 1893, The Red & Black is a student news organization that covers the University of Georgia and Athens. We are a 501c3 nonprofit with the dual mission of training students for careers in the news media and supplying our audience with an exceptional news source. Independent of the university, we receive no funding from UGA and support ourselves through advertising sales and donations. We publish news daily at redandblack.com and publish a newspaper when regular UGA classes are in session on campus. (Monthly during the pandemic.) We also publish special-interest guides including UGA 101 and Eat & Drink Athens, GA. The Red & Black was named the 2020 national Mark of Excellence winner by the Society of Professional Journalists as the nation’s best non-daily student newspaper.
For more information:
Rebecca Burns, Executive Director, email