A Gold for Benedict News


K MacPherson

Staff members of the award-winning Benedict News meet regularly to discuss story ideas.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association has bestowed a Gold Medal, the highest award given, upon the Benedict News for its print and online versions for 2018-19.

“You should be very proud of the work you produced,” the judges wrote in a critique. “The website and magazine have a very well balanced theme throughout them both, and tie together very nicely.” The judges added that the newsmagazine and website provided “great coverage that is well balanced, well rounded, and put together in a great package for the reader to enjoy and take with them.”

The judges complimented the Benedict News’ writing and design overall, and noted its expert use of enhanced multimedia on its website to tell stories.

The Benedict News last year was led by Editors-in-Chief Jacob Amaro 19’ and Jules Gouton 19’, both now freshmen at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Editors-in-Chief for 2019-20, Kevin Calle SY and Jonathan Dulce SY, also played significant roles in last year’s production of print and online editions, serving as Online Editor and Managing Editor, respectively.

“Looking back on what we did last year, I really appreciate the recognition we’ve gotten from the CSPA because it lets me know that we did something great,” said Editor-in-Chief Dulce. “Now, it’s our job to build on it.”

English Department Faculty Member Ms. Kitta MacPherson, the former long-time science editor for The Star-Ledger newspaper, is the faculty adviser and Mr. Lincoln Mullings, a volunteer at SBP last year, served as assistant adviser. 

“I just want the the Benedict News members — past, present, and future — to recognize the importance of this milestone,” said Mullings, the former assistant faculty adviser who is now a medical student in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago. “It is an award that highlights not only the importance of integrating journalism into educational curriculums today, but the role that our students play in being a voice of reason to their peers. I wish them the best of luck this year. I know they will continue to make the Hive proud.”

K MacPherson
(From left) Benedict News Editors-in-chief Jonathan Dulce and Kevin Calle run a Staff Orientation Session for freshmen and transfers as part of a series of planning meetings they scheduled this fall.

 The Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) is an international student press association, founded in 1925. Its goal is to unite student journalists and faculty advisers at schools and colleges through educational conferences, idea exchanges, critiques, and an award program. CSPA is based at Columbia University and is affiliated with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

“This Gold Medal from the Scholastic Press Association only makes me more proud of and grateful to, the Benedict News,” said Amaro, last year’s editor-in-chief. “It brings to light the possibilities that exist when more than one person comes together and works on something they are passionate about. And it shatters the idea that, because we go to school in Newark, we are incapable of doing something great.”

The CSPA was Columbia’s third initiative in journalism, following the founding of its School of Journalism in 1912 by bequest of the noted newspaper publisher, Joseph Pulitzer, and the awarding of the first Pulitzer Prizes by Columbia in 1917. Since 1925, more than 125,000 newspapers, magazines, and yearbooks have entered the annual critiques for evaluations and more than 340,000 delegates have attended the CSPA’s annual conventions, conferences and workshops.

Looking to the coming year, Editor-in-Chief Calle had this to say: “Jonathan and I are excited to work towards being even better than the Benedict News was last year. We have an amazing staff and many innovative ideas that will help bring the Benedict News to an even higher level.”