CLC Chronicle newspaper brings home 18 awards at statewide contest

The Chronicle, the student-run newspaper at the College of Lake County, recently won 18 awards, including four first places, in statewide competition among community college newspapers. The awards were presented April 6 at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association's spring conference in Springfield. The annual contest put The Chronicle in competition with Division I student publications produced at the state's biggest community colleges. Professional journalists judged the entries.

Opinion writing was among the strongest categories for 2017 Chronicle staff members, who won five awards for their commentary on the publication's news and sports coverage. The five awards include first places in news columns and staff editorials, both by Rachel Schultz, current news editor who was editor in fall 2016 and spring 2017.

Schultz's winning pieces related to the publication's ongoing coverage about requiring adjunct instructors to have master's degrees to teach in associate degree programs. Her news column award was for "CLC should stop worrying about window dressing," and her winning staff editorial was for "Disregarding experience over master's degrees loses credibility."

Current editor Diana Panuncial also won awards for opinion writing, including honorable mention as editorial writer of the year, based on a writer's body of work in writing coverage-based commentary.

The newspaper's other two first-place awards were in graphic design and photography. Graphic designer Hannah Strassburger won first place in graphics for a graphic accompanying former news editor Robert Biegalski's page 1 "Board of Trustees plan CLC improvement over summer." She won two additional awards, a third place in editorial cartoons and an honorable mention in advertising design.

Staff reporter Rhonda Sutton won first place in feature photos for a photo she took to accompany her March 13 "MSA promotes tolerance, battles misunderstanding" article.

The newspaper won second place in its division for the general excellence category that assesses the entire publication. The judge cited the publication for its layout and for providing "lots of great local content."

Panuncial and Schultz also won additional writing awards in categories that included sports, features and news. The paper's ongoing coverage of the debate over requiring adjunct instructors to have master's degrees to teach in associate degree programs won second place as the state's news story of the year. The package also referred to accompanying editorials as well as cartoons.

Additional awards earned by The Chronicle:

• Rachel Schultz: second place in feature writing.

• Diana Panuncial: two third-place awards for feature writing and sports news.

• Former managing editor Kim Jimenez: honorable mention in sports news.

• Lead layout editor William Becker: third place in sports columns.

• Staff reporter Demi Richter: third place in news photography.

• Overall: Second place in headline writing and third place and honorable mention for front-page design.

Over the last 10 years, The Chronicle has won 130 awards, including 36 first places in the statewide contest.

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