The Evangelical Press Association recently announced their winners for their annual “Best in Class Contest,” and Taylor University’s The Echo took home fifth place among all evangelical-based newspapers that entered the competition.
The Evangelical Press Association (EPA) is a professional organization of Christian print and digital publications that share the core values of Faith, Excellence, Credibility, Community and Education.
Newspapers that finished above The Echo include the Liberty Champion — Liberty University’s student newspaper, The Alabama Baptist — a weekly newspaper, The Christian Chronicle and the Illinois Baptist — another weekly newspaper.
Associate Professor of Journalism Alan Blanchard, faculty adviser for The Echo, said, “The Bible teaches us it’s a good thing to ‘pay honor to whom honor is due,’ and I’m very happy for the honor recently bestowed upon the student-produced Echo newspaper via the Evangelical Press Association contest.”
The Echo’s 5th place EPA award in the national contest reflects positively on the top editors, copy editors, section editors, writers, graphic designers and photographers, Blanchard said, adding “The students work well as a team as they produce quality student journalism week in and week out via The Echo.”
The edition that was submitted for the contest was the April 4, 2022 edition. This popular edition included a “Spring Fashion” spread that was designed by senior Kaelynn Shultz. Other notable features of this paper included news on Taylor’s honorary doctorate recipients and information on the weight room that was finished this fall.
“It was such exciting news to hear about this award,” 2021-22 Co-Editor in Chief Holly Gaskill (‘22) said. “We had such a fantastic team on this edition, and all of last year. It always feels great to have that hard work be noticed and validated.”
“As an editor for The Echo, I loved seeing our designers, writers, and photographers celebrate that style and community through our Spring Fashion spreads,” 2021-22 Co-Editor in Chief Ellie Tiemens (‘22) said. “They were always one of my favorite editions. And of course would not have been possible without the talent of people like Kaelynn Shultz who brought a colorful vision to life through photography and design. I'm ecstatic the EPA is recognizing the team's hard work on this edition"
Judges for the contest looked at the design and editorial content of the edition.
“The paper has a good mix of news and other content,” read the judges’ comments. “Young readers would appreciate the fashion feature and two-page spread. It was a major contrast to the basic design and overall content provided to readers. Nice effort for a campus paper.”
In addition to judging the paper edition, the judges also looked at the paper’s website, theechonews.com.
Comments on the website included compliments on the masthead and a clean and neatly presented layout.
“Overall, nice professional, clean look and feel. Very good student site,” read the judges’ comments.
This award helps conclude a year of successful placings in various contests for The Echo. In the spring, the newspaper took home second place in the Indiana Collegiate Press Association’s (ICPA) annual contest and gathered 33 individual awards from the ICPA in various reporting, photography and design categories. In addition, the team received individual awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a national journalism organization, and the EPA’s “Higher Goals” contest.
This year’s staff plans to enter these contests again — results will be known in the spring.