Excalibur takes third in Associated Collegiate Press contest

Excalibur, York University’s student newspaper, took third in the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) Best of Show Four-Year Weekly Tabloid category at the National College Media Convention in Kansas City last fall. Earlier in 2008, Excalibur placed second in the same category at the ACP Midwinter National College Newspaper Convention.

ACP is a division of the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), a non-profit educational association based in Minnesota which provides journalism education services to students, teachers and media advisers.

“We beat out many established schools in the US for their newspapers, many who receive way more funding and have more status,” says Miguel Angus, Excalibur’s business/advertising manager.

Excalibur was competing against other university and college student newspapers, including Ivy league, professional and technical schools, from across the US for the national award. The newspaper was judged on its layout, content and editorial. The contest judges were journalists or professionals with media-related job experience and knowledge who reviewed the entries and decided the winners independently of the ACP.

Above: Excalibur takes third in ACP Best in Show contest

Subha Arulvarathan, editor-in-chief of Excalibur, says it’s important for Excalibur to be a part of the ACP as it provides the newspaper’s writers and editors with educational support in the form of workshops on everything from reporting on news and writing feature stories to how to conduct interviews.

“It’s really good to get that outside experience,” she says.

The ACP promotes the standards and ethics of good journalism, provides journalism education training programs, publishes journalism education materials and provides media critique and recognition programs for members. It informs members about new developments in journalism and student media, and provides a forum for them to communicate with others as well as to share their work.

The ACP also hosts regular conferences where student-run media outlets can learn how to make their newspapers better and how to incorporate multimedia effects. Contributors, staff writers and volunteers can all benefit from the learning.

“It’s really important to get all of this information to make our newspaper more dynamic,” says Arulvarathan.

ACP is the largest and oldest national membership association for college student media in the US. More than 20,000 student journalists work on the staff of an ACP member publication.

Excalibur is now gearing up for the ACP National College Journalism Convention in San Diego from Feb. 26 to March 1.