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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope lands 7th in Best of Show at MediaFest

Students brought their 24-page newspaper for critiques. Photo provided by Grace McDonald / Antelope Staff

With travel, tough competition and miscommunication, UNK’s newspaper, The Antelope, took seventh place at the fall National College Media Awards convention. MediaFest22 took place October 27-30 in Washington, D.C. 

Six students from The Antelope team made their way to the capital for the competition. However, the award-winning issue was a group effort.

For the competition, the journalism team put together a 24-page issue. Producing a newspaper of this length was an ambitious act.

“It started at the beginning of the school year, we talked to Rob about getting a bigger issue put together,” said Zahira Lopez, the managing editor for The Antelope. “We went from thinking about it to agreeing we were going to do it.”

Since the decision to construct a 24-page issue was made early on, journalists had to think long-term. The theme of the paper became the MIAA 10-year anniversary. However, the issue is complex. The 24-page issue, nicknamed “The Big Boy,” features stories from Title IX discussions to drought worries at the state level. 

Aside from news, staff members also created comics, advice columns and advertisements. 

“Everyone had a part in the big boy,” said Grace McDonald, the editor-in-chief of The Antelope. 

MediaFest22, the conference The Antelope team attended, is the biggest student journalism conference in the country. This conference involves both the Associated Collegiate Press, as well as the College Media Association. 

Rob Breeding, a senior lecturer at UNK and The Antelope adviser, is pleased with the program’s success. 

“The big deal is placing at all at this competition,” Breeding said. “There were hundreds of schools there.”

UNK did not compete with other universities of comparable size. A fluke occurred during the paper’s submission. A woman at the MediaFest submission desk misspoke, asking if UNK had over 1,500 students when she must have meant 15,000 students. In reality, the two categories were split into schools with more than or less than 15,000 students. 

UNK has about 6,000 students. Despite this, they were entered into the category with larger universities.

“First, I felt terrible and thought it was my fault,” said McDonald. “But then I thought, ‘Hey, we can swim with the big fish.’” McDonald said this because UNK’s student newspaper took seventh place in the “Best of Show” category.

“We’re playing above our weight,” Breeding said, using the boxing cliché to illustrate the Antelope’s success. 

The conference attendees brought back the good news.

“It was pretty sweet getting that text from Grace,” Lopez said. Countless hours of work went into the 24-page edition. 

The 24-page issue focused on UNK’s transition to the MIAA 10 years ago. The Antelope team looked at results, trends and narratives. 

“This is a culmination of that process for the newspaper — wanting us to get back in the game,” Breeding said. “An award is a reflection of something. In this case, it’s a reflection of the dedication, hard work and due diligence that the students put into this newspaper.”

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