April 8, 2022

USM Student Media Center Receives Journalism Awards

Nicole Kral

(Source: Ivonne Kawas, USM)

Student journalists for the Southern Miss Media Center (SM2) at The University at Southern Mississippi’s School of Communication collected 47 awards across recent college journalism competitions, including sweeping the radio and television sports categories for the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters.

“We never do stories to win awards, but the recognition our students have received going up against the best programs in the state and the South show what we’ve always known, that our students not only can compete against the best; they are the best,” said Dr. Edgar Simpson, Director of the School of Communication.

At the Mississippi Press Association’s O.C. McDavid Journalism Conference luncheon, held in Jackson last month, the Student Printz, the weekly newspaper of the Student Media Center, won second place for general excellence; the newspaper also won staff awards for Best Design, Best Website, Best Graphics and Best Use of Social Media; and staff members swept the “Use of Video” category, winning all three awards.

In addition, at the Southeast Journalism Conference “Best of the South” annual awards presentation held via a live-stream, SMTV, SM2’s weekly television news program, won third best newscast and the Student Printz fourth best newspaper.

At the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters’ annual Excellence in Broadcasting awards banquet in Jackson held this month, both WUSM-FM’s weekly sports program, “4th Street Sports,” and SMTV’s weekly sports recap show each won first, second and third place awards.

Altogether, SM2 students won nine awards from the Southeast Journalism Conference “Best of the South” contest, 15 from the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters and 23 from the Mississippi Press Association.

Among the top individual winners were Charlie Luttrell, SM2 Executive News Director, who won four awards from the Mississippi Press Association and one each from the Southeast Journalism Conference and the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters, and Austin Lindsey, SM2 Sports Director, won six awards from the Mississippi Press Association and the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters.

As the Executive News Director, Luttrell expressed his excitement about the work being produced and says, “I’m proud of all the hard work that we have done at SM2 this year. We undertook a big commitment of converging our newspaper, radio and starting a new TV program this year and we are still learning how to do so each day. These awards help reinforce that what we are doing is making an impact in our community and is respected by the professionals in our industry.”

“It’s been a pleasure to watch our upperclassmen take leadership in this endeavor and watch our underclassmen take initiative the way they have. What we built this year was truly amazing to be a part of and I’m proud that we have a moment to reflect on all of our hard work and accomplishments,” he said.

Individual winners in the Mississippi Press Association’s O.C. McDavid Journalism Awards included:

Charles Arnold

Second place, Sports Feature Story

Garrett Grove

Third place, Series or Investigative Package

Third place, Use of Video

Marissa Haas

Second place, Graphics

Sarah Koeman

First place, Use of Video

Austin Lindsey

First place, Advertisement

Third place, Feature Photo

Charlie Luttrell

First place, General News Photo

First place, Sports Photo

Second place, Feature Photo

Third place, Sports News Story

Dima Mixon

Second place, Use of Video

Mary Murphy

First place, Editorials

Second place, General News Story

Larceny Rogers

Second place, Advertisement

Sean Smith

Second place, Spot News Photo

Third place, Sports Photo

Dipping Subedi

Second place, Editorials

Brian Winters

Second place, Feature Story


Individual winners in the Southeast Journalism Conference “Best of the South” Awards included:

Sarah Kofman

Third place, Best TV Feature Reporter

Charlie Luttrell

Third place, Best Sports Writer

Koby Moore

Second place, Best Radio Journalist


Mary Murphy

First place, Best Newspaper Layout and Design

Larensy Rogers

Second place, Best Advertisement

Sean Smith

Second place, Best Photographer

Joseph Weishaar

Third place, Best Artist/Illustrator


Individual winners of the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Annual Excellence in Broadcasting Awards included:

Scarlett Gully

Two first place awards for a pair of Radio Feature Stories

Garret Grove

First place, second place and third place awards for Television TV Reporter, Radio News Story, and Television Continuing Coverage, respectively

Sarah Kofman

Second place, Television Feature Story

Austin Lindsey

Two firsts and a second place for Television Sportscast

Second place, Television Sports Story

Charlie Luttrell

First place, Television Sports Story

Koby Moore

First place, Radio Sports Story


“Congratulations to our Southern Miss Student Media Center professionals—Chuck Cook, Wilbur Martin, and Jonathan McGowan—for their amazing work with the students. Nothing happens without them,” said Simpson.

To learn more about the SM2 visit: usm.edu/communication/student-media-center.php

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