By Jay Roberson
BEING on the forefront of coverage in a pivotal year for the university, The Rider News’ work has led to a number of individual and organizational awards, including finishing second place in general excellence within the state of New Jersey and as a regional finalist for best all-around newspaper.
The Rider News won multiple awards from the New Jersey Press Foundation (NJPF), including second place for general excellence, first place for enterprise/investigative reporting, sports writing, news writing and layout and design. The newspaper also won second place in the sections online video and editorial writing.
Amethyst Martinez, junior journalism major and incoming executive editor of The Rider News, said, “I’m happy that the entire newsroom was recognized for their hard work during this school year when we won second place.”
Junior sports media major and incoming managing editor Jake Tiger received first place in best sports writing from the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) regional competition for his story, “From court to courtside: MyNeshia McKenzie ‘bleeds cranberry,’” a feature on a Rider alumna who came back to coach the basketball team she once played on.
“It’s a huge honor to receive, and honestly, this year has been crazy and it’s really nice to be rewarded in the end,” said Tiger. “I feel like I’ve come a long way as a writer, and this award is really encouraging and it’s good to know that I’m moving in the right direction.”
Shaun Chornobroff, senior sports media major and executive editor of The Rider News for the 2022-23 school year, Martinez and senior journalism major Olivia Nicoletti were awarded first place in news writing from the NJPF. Chornobroff, Martinez and junior journalism major Kaitlyn McCormick were SPJ finalists for best general news coverage for their coverage of labor unions.
“I was grateful to have a large staff and multiple writers that wanted to step out, not because I asked them to, but wanted to put out the best content and wanted the experience and [to] really immerse themselves in that,” said Chornobroff.
Chornobroff also received first place in sports writing from NJPF.
“I think my sports expertise is something that was where it needed to be and I thought it was really cool to be rewarded for that,” said Chornobroff. “It was kind of representative of the last year and all that I’ve tried to do and really honestly representative of my last four years and my personal growth.”
Senior sports media major and sports editor Carolo Pascale received a nomination for best photo illustrations from SPJ.
“It’s been a lot of fun to kind of learn the different ways I can cover sports and cover them not just through writing, but through photography, graphic design and illustrations,” said Pascale.
Martinez also received first place in the enterprise/investigative reporting categories from NJPF. She talked about her appreciation for the paper and the hard work of her peers.
“All of the work that the newsroom has put in throughout the year has definitely paid off and has shown that The Rider News continues and will continue to be a really respectable and trusted organization to get your news from. We’ve been through a lot this year,” Martinez said.
Senior graphic design major and The Rider News Design Manager Adrienne Unfreed, Pascale and freshman graphic design major Angelina Fierro received first place in layout and design from NJPF. This is Unfreed’s second year receiving this award.
“I’m very honored to be able to win two years in a row. I can’t help but thank the team here and how amazing and supportive everyone has been. I couldn’t have done it without everyone here,” said Unfreed.
Felicia Roehm, sophomore journalism major and opinion editor, received second place in editorial writing from NJPF.
“I’m thrilled to have won an award this year because I was not expecting it at all, so I’m really happy and excited to win something. I really enjoyed being an editor and can’t wait to continue into next year,” Roehm said.
Junior communications major and video editor Bridget Hoyt won second place in the online video category for her “Rider’s Got Talent and some to spare” video.
“Doing this more has helped me learn about journalism,” Hoyt said. “I’ve made a lot of progress in the last year and a half. There’s a definite improvement in my work over time.”
Chornobroff looked back on his experience at The Rider News and over the past year in his role as executive editor and showed his appreciation for the job.
“It’s been my entire career” said Chornobroff. “It made me the journalist I am and I guess everything I can go on to do is because I joined The Rider News.”