Cluster awarded in national contest


Mercer University’s student-run newspaper, The Cluster, placed in six categories in the Society for Collegiate Journalists’ annual national contest.

The paper was awarded third place for overall excellence in its division, which encompassed papers that come out weekly or less.

In the category of Newspaper Design, the paper placed first in front page design and editorial page design, and third in news page design and sports page design.

The Cluster also won first place for best advertising portfolio.

The Society for Collegiate Journalists sponsors this contest each year, and all member schools are invited to enter.

Mercer has had an SCJ chapter since 2007. There are over 150 colleges and universities across the country that have active chapters.

SCJ faculty advisor Jay Black said he is glad to see the Cluster recognized.

“I have seen the value of my students’ work rise every year since I’ve been here. The only way to be a good journalist is to write,” Black said. “The value of the Cluster is that the quality of the paper is at a level now that somebody who is just beginning can write stories and their peers and upperclassmen can turn them into a better writer. It is through the mentoring process of the Cluster that has made us not only a good student newspaper, but also an excellent news source for Central Georgia.”

Black also feels that Mercer’s SCJ chapter has been an integral part of the Cluster’s success. “SCJ’s mission on campus is to promote the media, and by actively doing that we created awareness. This added awareness has put pressure on the Cluster staff to be that much better,” he said.

Senior Morgan Riley, outgoing president of SCJ, said the awards are well deserved because of the hard work done by Cluster staff.

“The Cluster never ceases to amaze me,” Riley said. “The awards truly reflect the talent here and I love the standard we’re creating for journalism at Mercer. Everyone should be beyond proud because we’re doing great things.”

The Society for Collegiate Journalists is an establishment intended to promote and expand media on college campuses. It places a strong emphasis on service and expects its members to take leadership roles in campus media.
Mercer has recently been selected to host the Society for Collegiate Journalists 2012 Biannual Conference on March 9-11.

Cluster faculty advisor Lee Greenway was pleased with the outcome of the contest.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the staff of the Cluster. The students consistently prove their talent and ability; no surprise that they would show so well at the national level,” he said.