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Chronicle wins 6 state journalism awards

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The logo of the Chronicle, the student-run online newspaper at the College of Lake County.

The Chronicle, the student-run online newspaper at the College of Lake County, recently received six awards, including two by a sports columnist who won third place in competition for Editorial Writer of the Year in a statewide contest among community college newspapers.

The awards were announced Nov. 8 at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association’s fall conference, which was held Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 at Eastern Illinois University. The 2023 contest put The Chronicle in competition with Division I student publications produced at the state’s biggest community colleges. 

Professional journalists judged the entries, which were published in the spring semester of 2023. Starting in 2024, the organization will make the annual contest encompass the academic year, switching from its previous format that used the calendar year for eligibility.

Chronicle sports columnist Nick Palazzolo’s third place in Editorial Writer of the year marked the first time a Chronicle opinion writer won in this category for sports coverage.  Palazzolo also won second place in sports columns for one of his pieces. 

Editorial Writer of the Year is based on a select body of work, and Palazzolo represents the fifth time a Chronicle staff member has won an award in this category. 

Palazzolo’s submissions that earned his award include “Cubs Opening Day Makes History, Shows MLB’s New Rules,” “Former Coach’s Win and Bears Loss: Historic Day for Franchise” and “Draft Capital Spurs Blackhawks to Trade Patrick Kane.” 

“Articles do a good job with analysis,” the judge said. “They’re well written and provide good insights.”

Palazzolo’s second place in sports columns was for his article on the Cubs’ opening day. 

“The writer provides a good explanation of MLB’s new rules and gives a nice first-hand account of their effect on the game,” the judge said.

Two other awards went to current Chronicle editor Iliana Padilla, who won second place in feature writing for “Challenging Tattoo Taboo” and an honorable mention in headline writing for the same article profiling CLC student Jake Pehler.

“Going beyond the number and types of tattoos makes it an interesting story,” said the judge, who also commended Padilla’s use of direct quotes.

Her headline’s use of alliteration was “well done,” another judge said.

Reporter Katerina Katramadou won third place in news columns for “ESL Students Learn English to Invest in Future.” 

“I like that this story is well reported and focuses on a college issue,” the judge said.

The Chronicle also won third place in general excellence for its website. The Mike Foster General Excellence award is a staff recognition for “overall quality of the publication’s media operation” 

The judge cited several articles for their reporting and writing and said the publication’s presentation and photography “flows well with each written piece.”

“I enjoyed Avery Piktel’s Halloween horror movie interview with Pat Gonder,” the judge said. “His outline of why he loves horror movies is an interesting read.

“Rhea Hechanova’s ‘In Pursuit of Perfection’ and the interwoven interview with Dr. Martha Lally exemplifies great writing and in-depth reporting. Another example of great writing is Christopher Hayden’s interview with YouTube personality Alex Kisiel. That piece radiates excellent writing.”

In the last 16 years, The Chronicle has won 191 awards, including 44 first places, in the statewide contest.

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