LIU Student Newspaper ‘The Pioneer’ Wins Top Honors at Press Club of Long Island’s Awards Dinner

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The Pioneer, the student newspaper of the LIU Post campus, won first place in the hotly contested College Newspaper category in the Press Club of Long Island’s annual Media Awards competition, which took place on June 6 before a crowd of almost 240 people gathered at the Watermill Caterers in Smithtown.

The award for Best College Newspaper was presented to co-editors-in-chief Jada Butler and Ashley Bowden and to The Pioneer’s staff.

Professor Carolyn Schurr Levin, The Pioneer’s faculty advisor, called the University’s achievement “incredible news.”

“This category has, for a long time, been dominated by Stony Brook, Hofstra and Adelphi,” she explained. “We knew what we had to do to win an award in this category. We improved our website, our social media and our copyediting, and we varied the content in the paper, among other things. We finally won third place in this category in 2016. We won second place in this category in 2018. This year is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time that the Pioneer has ever won first place for Best College Newspaper.”

“It’s really great that the high standards and the professionalism that we built into The Pioneer has been recognized and we’ve gotten this award for best college newspaper,” exclaimed Ashley Bowden, who is doing an internship this summer at a real estate publication in her hometown of Chicago. “It’s a real honor. I’m really proud of it.”

“I’m grateful to PCLI for acknowledging the hard work we’ve put into our newspaper,” said Jada Butler, who is doing an internship at Vice Media in Brooklyn this summer. “I’m also beyond proud of our staff for persevering through the many challenges we faced this year with reporting the harder news on campus. In the end, it was incredibly rewarding to see the real impact, action and dialogue that was created because of it.”

Jada Butler and Josh Tolentino, assistant features editor, also won first place in Narrative-Sports Reporting for “Game Changer: Athletics Becomes ‘OneLIU,’” which talked about the merger of the University’s sports departments to compete in Division 1 of the NCAA.

He just graduated in May.

Karis Fuller won second place in Narrative-Sports Reporting category for her story, “Post and Adidas: Match Made in Heaven,” which recounted how the company is sponsoring the athletes’ uniforms and other sports equipment. Fuller, who also just graduated in May, was on the swim team. She is from England.

As Professor Schurr Levin said, “It was a very good night for The Pioneer.”