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For Immediate Release

April 28, 2014

For additional information:
Chato Hazelbaker
Chief Communications Officer
Telephone: 360-992-2921
Tyler Urke, Independent editor-in-chief,
Or Dee Anne Finken, adviser,

Clark College student newspaper sweeps
state awards

Members of The Independent earn honors at Washington Community College Journalism
Association contest
VANCOUVER, Wash. For the second year in a row, student journalists who produce The
Independent at Clark College swept the competition in the publications category in the annual
Washington Community College J ournalism Association contest.
Independent staff also earned honorable mention in the General Excellence category, a
designation that recognizes editorial leadership; writing, editing and photography; and content
relative to a community college readership.
Seven community colleges participated in the competition that judges print and online work
produced during the Spring 2013, Fall 2013 and Winter 2014 terms.
In sweeping the publications category, Independent staffers captured 10 first-place awards, five
second-place awards, nine third-place awards and three honorable mentions out of 21 categories,
said editor-in-chief Tyler Urke.
Urke won two first-place awards, including one he shared with former editor-in-chief Aleksi
Lepisto, who also captured another first. Former Indy staff member Killian Bailey tied for
second place in the Individual Sweeps category, winning two firsts and one second, Urke said.
Like professional news organizations across the country, The Independent has been transitioning
away from a print-first publication to a digital-first publication, producing news sometimes daily
online and in print with less frequency, said adviser Dee Anne Finken. Whats particularly nice
is that the Indy staff finished second in web content, which is where the students are really
focusing these days.
Finken also said the Indy staff swept the multimedia category, a performance that she said
undoubtedly was boosted by the multimedia news class Clark added to its journalism curriculum
in recent months.
Michael Parks, who coordinates the WCCJ A and leads the journalism program at Pierce College
Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood, Wash., said participation in the competition has been waning in
past years. As a result, advisers are looking to expand the competition next year, possibly
inviting two-year schools from Oregon, Idaho and Alaska to participate.
J im Camin, a former Oregonian editor, serves as The Independents volunteer writing coach.
The Independent can be read online at In print, it is
distributed throughout the Clark main and Columbia Tech Center campuses.
The staff includes Tyler Urke, Ryan Rutledge, Caitlin Calsbeek, Aleksi Lepisto, Kenneth
Zummach, Bradley York, Killian Bailey, Nicole Haney, Esther Manea, Evan J ones, Robert
Berman, Tra Friesen, Emma Fletcher, Steven Cooper, Brody Voge, Nate Nienaber, Kait Terrel,
Clancie Moffett, Alejandra Magallanes, Zach Lake, Tyler Brown, Nick Books, Cloe Beck,
Brittany Koontz, Bri Scharmann, Evan Blatnik, Stephanie LaRue, J eff Knapp and Boyd

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