Daily Mustang Places First and Second for Mark of Excellence Awards

April 11, 2011  

By Daily Mustang Staff

The Daily Mustang brought home four Mark of Excellence awards this weekend from the Society of Professional Journalists conference in Norman, Okla. The top journalism programs in Texas and Oklahoma attend the regional SPJ competition.

The Daily Mustang won first place in online news reporting, in a joint project with the Daily Campus, for a piece entitled “Nola Now.” Five journalism students drove to New Orleans to report on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The coverage was documented on the Nola Now Blog on the Daily Mustang, with more than 20 posts.

Bridget Bennett of SMU-TV also received a first place award in general news reporting for her package on the county jail health crisis. Her story covered health care in Dallas County jails.

Second place for the best affiliated website also went to the Daily Mustang staff, under managing editor Aida Ahmed.

The Daily Mustang’s readership and influence has grown since its launch in the fall of 2008. The Daily Mustang has covered a range of stories. From the Burger Street shooting to the NBA All-Star game, an extended video interview with actress Glenn Close, to the Bush Library groundbreaking to live blogging various events and conferences, the Daily Mustang has reported on the stories that matter to the SMU community. Viewership on the Daily Mustang has tripled in the last year.

The Mustang also won second place for online in-depth reporting, for the story, “Are Dry Neighborhoods On Their Way Out?” E’Lyn Taylor, Lisa McKeague, Ariana Garza and Kassi Schmitt all contributed to the project for the ‘Beyond the Bubble’ section of the Mustang. As part of the four-part story the reporters covered the pros and cons of the wet/dry debate and produced a broadcast segment previewing on the morning of the Nov. 2 elections.

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