L&C’s Student Newspaper Hauls in 22 ICCJA Awards

Article by: Jan Dona, L&C Media Services,

GODFREY – Besting last year’s tally of 17 awards, Lewis and Clark Community College’s student-run newspaper, The Bridge, earned a record-breaking 22 awards in the 2021 Illinois Community College Journalism Association (ICCJA) awards.

Bridge Advisor Louise Jett explained how the challenges of the last year made her staff even closer.

“The Bridge staff didn’t scatter to the wind when the pandemic hit,” Jett said. “We united to keep our campus community informed and entertained. Our commitment to being flexible and working together as a team helped us earn these awards, many of which took the work of multiple team members. I am so proud of these students, not only for the awards they have received, but for the community of learners they have built and nourished. We are such a great team.”

The paper’s win spanned all disciplines, including reporting, photography, design, graphics, editorial cartoon and podcast production.

“Under the mentorship of Louise Jett, these awards recognize the outstanding work of these talented L&C students,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Jill Lane. “I continue to be proud of our student newspaper.”

Jett was especially proud of one entry.

“I am particularly pleased with the awards our coverage of the ‘What You Were Wearing’ exhibit earned,” Jett said. “And, I am especially proud of Bridge Editor-in-Chief Alex Johnson, whose leadership kept us publishing during the pandemic. Alex earned an impressive eight awards across different categories, both in writing and design. I am grateful the ICCJA provides an opportunity for talented students, like Alex and the other awardees, to be recognized.”

Alexandra Blockton Thompson, who covered the “What You Were Wearing” exhibit, feels her win validates her passion for writing.

“Winning this award has given me motivation to continue pursuing my writing,” she said. “It was an honor to have my work recognized and I’m definitely encouraged by it.”

Johnson found the attention The Bridge received to be a little overwhelming.

“Once the whirlwind of the event was over, I felt a lot of pride, not only in myself, but for what we were all able to accomplish,” Johnson said. “I’m extremely proud to be a part of the team that broke The Bridge’s ICCJA award record, and I don’t think that would have been possible without the support and love The Bridge staff provides to each other every day.”

The Bridge students collected awards in the following categories:


  • 1st Place, Best Student Media
  • 1st Place, Editorial Cartoon, “Creative Disappointment” – Alex Johnson
  • 1st Place, Graphics, “What is the Census and Shy Does It Matter” – Alex Johnson
  • 1st Place, News Story, “L&C Students Call Out Rape Culture” – Alexandra Blockton Thompson
  • 1st Place, Page Design, “Where Do We Go From Here?” – Alex Johnson
  • 1st Place, Sports Game Category, “UFC 249: Fighting In A Vacuum” – Nathan Tucker
  • 1st Place, Sports Photo, “Jams and Slams Roller Derby” – Krystie Morrison
  • 2nd Place, Mike Foster General Excellence Award – Staff
  • 2nd Place, Feature Photo, “Balloon Artist Bites Lip” – David Tupper
  • 2nd Place, Feature Writing, “LC Pride Hosts Jaimie Hileman for Transgender Day of Remembrance” – Alex Johnson
  • 2nd Place, Front Page Design, March 2020 – Alex Johnson
  • 2nd Place, Headline, “Converse Steps Up Quality, Keeps the Sole” – Alex Johnson
  • 2nd Place, News Column, “Alton’s Farmers’ Market Slowly Growing Again” – Jenna Shelton
  • 2nd Place, Podcast, “When We Get to It, Episode 1: Hello Again” – Anthony Brown
  • 2nd Place, Staff Editorial, “Where Do We Go From Here? The World Handling of COVID-19” – Dillon Neibel
  • 3rd Place, Front Page Design, February 2020 – Alex Johnson
  • 3rd Place, Headline, “Cheeky business: The Battle of Bidet vs. Toilet Paper” – Jenna Shelton
  • Honorable Mention, Feature Photo, “What You Were Wearing Exhibit” – Trevor Ayers
  • Honorable Mention, Multimedia Story, “Ultimate Updates: A Continued Breakdown of the UFC Divisions” – Dillon Neibel
  • Honorable Mention, News Story, “Candidates Make Their Case to Local Voters and A Low-Flying Drone” – Nathan Tucker
  • Honorable Mention, Page Design, “Blast From the Past” – Alex Johnson and Jenna Shelton
  • Honorable Mention, Website, – Staff


The ICCJA, located at Eastern Illinois University, offers learning opportunities and recognition for community college students across the state who are sharing news and creating content to keep their campuses and communities informed.

ICCJA award winners are announced each spring.

For more information about The Bridge, contact Jett at or visit