Cabrini’s student journalists have been known to produce award-winning stories, and this year is no different. On March 15, The Loquitur racked up 10 Pennsylvania Keystone media awards for the 2021 spring and fall semesters, the most in school history from the Pennsylvania News Media Association.
Competing in a crowded DII category (four-year institutions with an enrollment of less than 10,000), Loquitur reporters received awards for newspaper design, a podcast and coverage of topics such as eating disorders and stories about race.
Dr. Jerome Zurek, former journalism professor, expressed great pride in these accomplishments. “I can’t be more proud of the commitment that many Loquitur reporters and editors exhibited last year to key issues in our world,” he said.
These articles covered a range of topics, but a majority of them tackled issues about race on and off campus. Race-related discussions have been in the spotlight of American life since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, so the Loquitur felt that it was important to cover this topic in-depth.
“Perhaps the most significant story across the country last year was the reckoning America had over race, with the trial of the police officers who killed George Floyd,” Zurek said. “The Loquitur can be especially proud of the fact that six of the 10 awards went to stories that examined race in America and on Cabrini’s campus. Many of these stories were team efforts and examined racism from numerous angles, from the rally held on campus in the spring to the elimination of the Black Studies minor.”
2021 was a tumultuous year for Cabrini and The Loquitur, especially in the spring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the journalism class and many interviews took place online, which made it difficult to write stories. The university was thrown further for a loop when it was announced that many majors would be cut and faculty members would be let go.
In the fall, in-person classes returned and many interviews were also conducted face-to-face. However, there were still challenges. Students who appeared as faceless names on Zoom during the past semester had to learn to work as a team and build chemistry; crucial skills for a newsroom to develop.
Zurek also stepped down from teaching journalism, a position that he had held for decades. He was replaced by Marion Callahan. As a result, students had to adapt to Callahan’s teaching style.
“I think the hardest thing about The Loquitur last year was the transition between the two professors,” Troy Scott, junior digital communications major and Keystone media award winner, said. “I also learned a lot from both of them as well, and I think that these two teaching styles helped me invision the future of the paper.”
Despite the many challenges facing students, Callahan is proud of the work that her students have produced and their ability to fly high in the face of difficulties.
Here’s a list of this year’s winners. You can find all of the DII winners here.