Campus Echo Takes Top Honors

The Campus Echo, North Carolina Central University’s student newspaper, has won nine Excellence in Journalism awards from the Black College Communications Association.

The Echo won Best Overall HBCU Student Newspaper, Best Headline Writing, Best Individual Page Design, Best Editorial Cartoon and Best HBCU Online Student Newspaper. The paper also took second place in Best Overall Design, Best Opinion/Editorial Section and Best Multimedia Package, and Honorable Mention for Best Photo Essay.

Led by faculty advisor Dr. Bruce dePyssler, the publication has won more than 134 national awards, including the Mark of Excellence award from the Society of Professional Journalists for best all-around online student newspaper. “These awards, which are given by industry professionals, are a testament to the hard work of our students,” said dePyssler. “Their commitment to the Campus Echo — and to learning how to produce a professional newspaper — has inspired me since the day I began advising the Echo 10 years ago.”

With a staff of 15 that includes reporters, copy editors, photographers and a cartoonist, the print publication has a circulation of 4,000 to 30 campus newsstands.

Last year, the Echo completed a redesign of its online edition, integrating it into College Publisher 5 (CP5), a content management system owned by MTV that is the standard for university online newspapers. The switch has sped up production, integrated local advertising and simplified adding multimedia content to the publication. MTV provides CP5 to the Echo in exchange for prime advertising positioning.

“Our primary goal, as always, is to never lose any ground,” dePyssler said. “Given the never-ending graduation of our best-trained students, it would be easy to slip into mediocrity. After that, our goal is to continue to integrate multimedia into the online edition. That’s where we need to put our efforts.”

Editor-in-chief Carlton Koonce said he is thrilled to have the hard work of his colleagues recognized. A graduating senior from Greenville, N.C., Koonce spends many hours working on the publication, even as he juggles a fulltime job, parenthood and classes, all while maintaining a 3.9 GPA. “When I go over to the NCCU archives and look up the Echo, I see my name listed among the other editors, and that is the legacy that I’ll leave,” he said. “I was the centennial editor.” His advice to his yet-to-be-named successor, is simple: “Push but don’t shove — use please and thank you.”