The Chronicle wins 10 awards during ICCJA contest


chronicle logo

The Chronicle, the student-run newspaper at the College of Lake County, recently won 10 awards, including two first places and second place for general excellence in statewide competition among community college newspapers.

The awards were announced on April 8 at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association’s spring conference, which was held on April 7 and April 8. The annual contest put The Chronicle in competition with Division I student publications produced at the state’s biggest community colleges. Professional journalists judged the entries. The entries were published in 2021.

The two first-place awards were in staff editorials and sports columns.

Annie Ahern

Former section editor Annie Ahern won for their Jan. 31 “A student’s perspective on continuing higher education during COVID-19” editorial. 

“The writer not only captures the mood of their fellow students but personifies it,” the judge said. “They speak as the voice of the student, uses data, and even comes up with, surprisingly, positive things about a pandemic society.”

Ahern also won an honorable mention in headline writing for their “Red In the cheeks: Kelly Cartwright on our relationship with nature” title for their March 2 article.

“I wanted to know what that meant – good job of drawing the reader in,” the judge said.

Staff writer Matt Kaufman won first place in sports columns for his Nov. 17 “The most horrific cover-up in hockey history.”

“Kaufman did his research, included important information so readers would first understand the issue, ” the judge said, “and then he takes a strong point of view that undoubtedly hit home with fans of the team.”

The Chronicle also won five second-place awards that included general excellence for its website.

The Mike Foster General Excellence award is a staff recognition for the “overall quality of the publication’s media operation.” The judge cited the writing and structure in making the second-place award. 

“I do like the organization of the page,” the judge said. “Categories are clear and easy to navigate. The arrangement draws the reader in. Writing is good.”

The Chronicle also won a second-place for ”news story of the year” for its “Coping with COVID-19 in 2021,” a package of five articles by managing editors Alex Kisiel and Ciara White and staff member Castor Basa. The judge described the coverage as “well-written stories with graphics and sourced information.” 

Ciara White
Ciara White

White also won second place in arts reviews for her Nov. 3 “Analyzing Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Modern Times,’” a retrospective assessment of a 1935 film and its continued relevance. 

“Your analysis of ‘Modern Time’ is on the mark and hits the nail on the head,” the judge said. “Chaplin’s work here is, indeed, a reflective mirror of the Great Depression but can easily be applied to similarities seen in the COVID-19 pandemic. Your skillful breakdown of the Great Depression and vivid details honing in on what workers faced in that time compared to the worker shortage we see today is spot on. Your attention to detail in comparing each time is praiseworthy. I applaud you.”

Section editor Christian Welton also won second place in news columns for his Nov. 3 “Making Major Changes,” an assessment of the advantages of a community college. The judge described the article as a “good job of drawing material that will potentially help readers out of a personal experience.”

“Some columnists just stop at the personal experience without making the story useful to [the] reader – well-organized and written,” the judge said. 

The second place in editorial cartoons went to staff writer and artist Castor Basa for the Nov. 3 “COVID-19.”

“This cartoon makes its simple, effective case as to why everyone should wear a mask during the pandemic – a good message to share during a tough time in our world’s history,” the judge said.

Chase White

Sports editor Chase White also won an honorable mention in sports game coverage for his Dec. 8 “Teamwork makes the dream work,” which covered the first game of the CLC women’s basketball season.

The Chronicle also won third place for “Best Media,” a competition based on a point system for awards won in the annual contest.

In the last 14 years, The Chronicle has won 175 awards, including 42 first places, in the statewide contest.