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U of M’s Daily Helmsman Breaks Record at Southeast Journalism Conference by Winning Top Award for Second Year in a Row University News
For release: February 27, 2009

For press information, contact Simone Notter Wilson, 901- 678-4164

Nevin Batiwalla, 2008 editor of The Daily Helmsman, independent student newspaper at the University of Memphis, broke a record at this year’s Southeast Journalism Conference (SEJC), when he won the College Journalist of the Year Award, making this an unprecedented two years in a row for one paper to capture that honor.

Last year, former Helmsman editor-in-chief Trey Heath, now a staff reporter for The Memphis Business Journal, won the award.

The winners were announced in Nashville. The award is based on published writing samples, letters of reference, and an essay, written by the nominee.  SEJC’s Best of the South Awards went to six Helmsman reporters in individual categories, judged on three stories from each participant.

Latanya Powell won first place in the Best News Reporter category, and Ryan Poe won an honorable mention.  Katy Pepper won an honorable mention in the Best Feature Writer category.  Poe, Powell, Kathryn Knowlton, Jessica Stacy, and Tyson Kanzaki won an honorable mention in the Best Public Service Journalism category for the special section, “Are You Safe,” which they produced in Helmsman adviser Candy Justice’s Reporting Public Issues class.  The section ran in the Helmsman in November 2008.

This is the fourth time in 15 years that a Helmsman editor has won College Journalist of the Year, the SEJC’s most prestigious award.  Winners before Batiwalla and Heath were Amos Maki and Michael Thompson.

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