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Press Release for Friday, April 17, 2009

UNF Weekly Campus Newspaper Earns National Recognition

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida’s weekly student-operated campus newspaper, the Spinnaker, has earned national recognition for its Web site and state recognition for its print edition.

The Associated Collegiate Press named the Spinnaker’s Web site,, a finalist for the 2009 Online Pacemaker, the national organization’s highest honor. Winners will be announced in Texas at the National College Media Convention in October. The award is based on design, ease of navigation, writing/editing, graphics and interactivity.

The Spinnaker, with a circulation of 4,000, is a finalist in the four-year, non-daily newspaper category. Other finalists include journalism powerhouse the University of Missouri in Columbia, the University of Miami, Tulane, Temple and the College of William and Mary.

The Spinnaker also was named the second-best college newspaper in the state in the Florida College Press Association’s (FCPA) annual contest. The 2008 results, just released last week, included the Spinnaker’s first-place finishes in best general news writing and in best front page.

“The Spinnaker staff is a smart, diligent team, and it’s a pleasure to see others recognize them for what they are: one of the best college news organizations in the country,” said John Timpe, Center for Student Media advisor at UNF.

UNF senior Holli Welch, Spinnaker editor-in-chief, made enhanced front-page design one of her goals for the past year, while junior James Cannon, the paper’s next editor-in-chief, redesigned the Web site. News Editor Jonathan Morales, a UNF senior, leads the staff of writers that include senior Andrea Farah and freshman Rebecca McKinnon.

The FCPA has 13 member papers, including the University of Miami and Jacksonville University. The University of Tampa’s Minaret campus paper took first place overall. The Minaret and the Spinnaker finished first and second place respectively last year as well in the debut of the competition.

“Across the board, we’re just seeing college journalism and news turning out better and better stories and better and better publications,” said Brian Thompson, FCPA president. “I’ve been very impressed with the journalism that the students at the University of North Florida are doing.”

UNF’s first student newspaper started in January 1974 and was called the Halyard. On August 17, 1977, the student newspaper was dubbed The Spinnaker, the same name it has held for more than 30 years.