The Georgia College Press Association recognized the Georgia Highlands College student-produced newspaper the Six Mile Post with 11 awards at their annual Press Institute held in Athens, Georgia last month.
The staff earned numerous awards of distinction in the GCPA Better Newspaper Contest for colleges with an enrollment under 8,000 and a staff comprised of freshmen and sophomore students. Such awards recognized the publication and individual students for: layout and design, overall improvement, best campus community service in the area of feature writing, photography, column writing, editorial series, entertainment features and impact.
Six Mile Post editor-inchief, Olivia Fortner, said, “I am most proud of the overall improvement award. This speaks volumes for the work our staff has put in. Most of us were inexperienced in journalism and design. We did a lot to learn the style of AP writing and building a newspaper. We worked together and produced a paper better than the last. I hope this continues and we improve with each issue.”
Attending the annual GCPA conference exposes college journalists to sessions taught by experts in the field and gives them a chance to network with peers from around the state.
ound the state. Fortner said, “It was good to see so many other students who understand the newsroom process. To know that we are not a small staff and that other staffs, smaller than ours, are producing amazing work is encouraging.”
Samantha Warner, Six Mile Post copy editor, said, “My biggest takeaway from the conference was that news and media is not a dying career field! Although the way we consume information is changing, there’s a greater demand for reliable, unbiased sources than there has ever been. New jobs are being created in this field literally all the time. It’s part of what makes me so excited about this line of work.”
This has been a year of change for the Six Mile Post since former faculty adviser, Dr. Kristie Kemper, retired after 40 years of service to Georgia Highlands College.
Current faculty adviser, Allison Hattaway, said, “To walk into a program that had been run so well by one person for so many years was no simple task. In addition, there were very few returning staff members from last year, so we really had to hit the ground running! I am very proud of the students for jumping in and working together to maintain the history of excellence that Dr. Kemper and previous students had established.”
Fortner contributes the staff’s success to open communication, strong work ethic and compatibility. She said, “We have good leadership. Mrs. Hattaway has been patient and encouraging through the learning process and mistakes.”
We have a great group of writers and editors who are able to work with others and take constructive criticism. On a collaborative project like a newspaper, that’s very important,” said Warner.
portant,” said Warner. This SMP staff is not satisfied with maintaining the status quo and is pushing to modernize the publication. Fortner said, “The SMP has a lot of new things on the horizon. We are planning to start a podcast in the upcoming semester. We have just had a logo created, completed a website redesign , are working slowly to give the overall look of the publication an updated look and readers can now read the paper from a mobile app. We hope to make this something students go to daily to check in and see what’s happening on their campus.”
Readers can go to www. sixmilepostonline.com to see the new look and visit Apple and Android app stores to download the free College News Source app for easier reading on mobile devices.
“The Six Mile Post is an amazing publication to work for. We want people to understand what a great opportunity it is. I hope the SMP is a desirable job that people are coming to GHC just to be a part of,” said Fortner.
Students interested in working for the Six Mile Post are encouraged to apply online at https://sites.highlands.edu/forms/six-mile-postapplication/