A senior’s spring media monday

Andrew Riley, Sports Editor

The spring semester is held near and dear to many people because it signals the end of the school year, but it also holds a special place in the heart of the “newsies.” Monday April 30 was the 102 annual Spring Media Monday where print and online newspaper, news magazine,  and yearbook staffs from across the state meet at the University of Oklahoma for a conference. Usually two of these are held every year, one in the fall focused on yearbook and one in the spring focused on newspaper and news magazine. Being a senior, this Spring Media Monday was my last one.

Media Monday is full of different things to enjoy like breakout sessions concerning journalism and tours of the OU campus, but at the end of the day everyone meets for the awards ceremony. Awards are given out for several things ranging from best story in its class to best overall photographer in the state. Eventually it comes down to which school had the best publication in their division in the state. Sweepstakes. The biggest achievement a news staff can hope to have one day.

When our staff came to the Meacham Auditorium that day, we were excited to see what awards we could walk out with. We sat down in the second and third rows and began listening intently to the awards being given out, first for newspaper publications and then for online publications. Next came best overall story writers and photographers, followed by the on-deadline segment. These are prompts that are given to us to submit “on-deadline” before the Media Monday conference. Not yet had we obtained any individual awards for our publication, but we kept up our hopes because we are now a news magazine and that is how we submitted our publication. Tragically, there were never any individual awards given out for news magazines.

Toward the end of the ceremony they began giving out the All-Oklahoman and Sweepstakes awards for newspaper staffs. At that moment we heard our staff called for Sweepstakes. In the moment we were happy because as a staff we had just won the biggest award we could possibly hope for, but then confusion arose because we were not a newspaper, we were a news magazine. The ceremony concluded and we began our bus ride home, all slightly heartbroken that none of us obtained any individual awards, but somehow we won sweepstakes. This was especially sad for me because I am now walking away from a great staff with only proof of my achievements from last year when I first started out.

Halfway through the bus ride home I realized something. Yes, it is disappointing to not win any individual awards when I have worked so hard all year, but that is not what journalism is about. Journalism is about being a part of something bigger. Being able to put things out there that the people need to know is our job and we have done just that. We must have been doing something right to be named the best in the state of Division 2.