The Bridge Brings Home Four Awards from ICCJA Conference

Article by: Laura Inlow,

GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College’s student newspaper, The Bridge, is the recipient of four awards from the Illinois Community College Journalism Association, including first place for best website.

One hundred and thirty-seven students earned awards among the 18 schools that entered at least one category.

The Bridge staff took first place in an open category for websites and earned honorable mention in the Mike Foster General Excellence Division II category. Associate Editor Darick Earney got second place in an open category for headlines, and Editor-in-Chief Athena Whitty was awarded honorable mention in the open category for editorial writer of the year.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this staff,” said The Bridge Adviser Laura Inlow. “We really found our footing under a strong editorial staff and submitted a lot of strong entries this year, many of which were up against staffs at schools that have journalism programs. All of our students should be proud of the work they’ve done and of the quality publication they work hard to put out each month.”

The Bridge’s website,, was hailed by judges for its homepage rotator, article content, social media buttons and the treatment of quotes within stories.

Whitty’s columns, in the editorial category, were noted for her pleasing writing style and choice of subject matter.

“The writer thoughtfully addressed bullying, using social media responsibly and the effects of media altering reality. It is tempting to write about these kinds of subjects in a loud and angry voice. However, these columns took a gentler approach and, as such, were more effective because they were built on reason,” judges remarked.

Earney’s headline, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to STL Comic Con,’’ was called “masterful wordplay that takes a pop-culture reference and hitches it to a pop-culture event. It’s geeky without being cheeky.”

The staff earned honorable mention in general excellence for consistently getting quality quotes from local sources in campus news and feature stories.

“The staff’s hard work paid off at ICCJA,” said Whitty, who will graduate in May. “While I'm sad that this is my last semester at The Bridge, it’s great to leave on a high note and bring home several awards. It has been very rewarding to work with such a phenomenal group of students; I will miss every single one of them.”

Seven members of the 2014-2015 staff traveled to Utica, Illinois, April 9-10 for the ICCJA’s Spring 2015 Conference. In addition to attending several journalism workshops, the group was among a number of student newspaper staffs celebrating outstanding achievements from the past academic year.

The Bridge recently announced next year’s Editor-in-Chief, Hannah Auston, who is currently the layout editor. Auston is already recruiting for the 2015-2016 staff. For more information, visit