University of the Cumberlands’ student newspaper The Patriot had tremendous success for the third consecutive year. Since 2017, The Patriot has won 65 awards from the Kentucky Press Association’s (KPA) annual awards banquet, earning them all with fewer than 10 people on staff in any one year.
“It’s great to be recognized by a state committee and have someone acknowledge the work we do as important,” said Taylor Duke, editor in chief at The Patriot. “We also receive awards that actual journalists have received as well, so it’s really cool that our work is comparable to daily state newspapers.”
The Patriot won five first place awards, three second place awards, and two third place awards for 2019. Best Use of Social Media/Multi-media and Best Holiday Greeting Ads and General/Miscellaneous were two of the first-place awards they received.
They took home four awards in the KPA Advertising Excellence in Kentucky contest, as well as a second-place overall award in that contest. They received awards for Best Sports Picture Essay and Best Feature Picture for the third consecutive year.
The competition is state-wide and often requires The Patriot to compete with larger schools such as Somerset Community College and Murray State University. Despite The Patriot’s small staff, the newspaper is one of the most notable in the state. In many ways, The Patriot stands out from any of their competitors.
“We’re able to have a relationship with our administration and have help and guidance through this process,” said Duke. “Our faculty advisor, Jeremiah Massengale, really values us learning about the process through hands-on experience. That application really helps us and sets us apart.”
This semester, a main goal they had was to involve more people. Involving more people allows for the paper to be more successful campus-wide. The staff also focuses hard on varying their content. They try to not report on the same subject more than once and limit how often a topic can be discussed.
“One of the major things that we try to assure is diverse content,” said Haley Bullock, managing editor. “We really try to focus on getting a new story each week, whether it be in entertainment, sports, or something else.”
The Patriot’s upcoming goal is to continue getting more people involved. The staff will be reduced to five returning editors after the Spring 2020 semester, but they’re prepared to handle the process to manage the learning curve for new editors.
The Patriot is released on campus every Thursday. New releases, as well as past copies, can be found online at www.issuu.com/the_patriot . Follow The Patriot on social media @UCThePatriot.