The Antelope nab best overall again at Golden Leaf Awards


The Department of Communication placed first in 21 events. Courtesy Photo

Jada High

Once again, UNK students saw major success at the 2022-23 Northern Plains Collegiate Media Association Golden Leaf Awards. Students placed first in five of the nine main categories and in 19 of the 36 subcategories. 

This contest gives the students in the Department of Communication a chance to compete against six other colleges: Peru State, Wayne State, Chadron State, Doane University, Concordia University and Bethel College.

“It’s really important for the students as part of their education,” said Rob Breeding, journalism senior lecturer and faculty adviser of The Antelope. “Being a part of a competition and winning awards is special and an important moment of their college careers.” 

The Golden Leaf Awards is held to recognize the hard work of students in Nebraska and their student media. These awards give students the opportunity to show off their skills in video, radio and news writing. 

One of the largest accomplishments to come out of the Golden Leaf Awards was The Antelope winning best overall newspaper once again. 

“We want to prove that we’re doing really good things over here,” said Jon Willis, sophomore sports communication major and sports director at KLPR. “And I think we did it again. We swept almost every radio category and that was really cool.”

The Golden Leaf Awards were paused in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but started back up in the fall of 2022. However, Breeding and students like Grace McDonald, senior editor-in-chief, worked hard to build the Antelope during that off-time into the success that it is today. 

“I’m most proud of the culture we’ve built,” McDonald said. “I feel really satisfied leaving behind the underclassmen who I know are going to continue to build up the newspaper and make it stronger.”

Instead of turning in projects for a grade, the Golden Leaf allows students to create better journalism skills within a competition. Participants have seen progress since last year’s competition. 

“Last year, I didn’t win any first places for writing,” said Grant Tighe, senior sports editor. “It was really rewarding to be on top this time.”

Although The Antelope had successful results at the last competition, Breeding is still hungry for more competitive opportunities for his students.

“I think The Antelope is back on the map for this campus community and that may not have been the case five years ago,” Breeding said. “So just the students continuing to build on the success that they’ve come to demand of themselves.”