Greta Norlander '02, one of the three executive editors, attended the awards ceremony on behalf of the Mess staff. The first award was in the category of General Excellence, which the Messenger won for the second consecutive year. The judges felt that the Messenger looked like a professional rather than a college newspaper.
Typography and Design was the second category, in which the judges considered the artistic appeal and visual appearance, ultimately decided that the Messenger was clean and easy to follow.
The third award was Best Use of Photography as a Whole. The judges commented that the photos told a story and were directly linked to the articles.
These awards speak highly of the Messenger, with the other close finishers being schools such as St. Thomas and St. Cloud State which have strong newspaper traditions. The entries were sent out of state to New Mexico in order for the results to be impartial.
Another executive editor, Elizabeth Holmes '02, was not surprised that the Messenger fared so well for the second year. "The Mess entered the MNA in the late eighties and won a handful of awards; it was great to enter last year for the first time since then and win, and then to win again this year. If you look at a paper from last year you can see all the improvements."
These improvements included the addition of color, a new Variety section, and an increased time commitment on the part of the staff.
The reaction and input of the student body is also important to the papers success.
Reid Rose '02 feels that "the Mess seems like a well-organized paper that tries to tackle some important issues surrounding the St. Olaf campus."
There are other reasons for the excitement these awards have created. Unlike other colleges, the Messenger writers do not get paid for their hours of work, and St. Olaf does not have a journalism program.
Erik Wilterding '02, also an executive editor, said, "These awards attest to the dedication of our staff and they belong to everyone that has contributed to the Messenger. Without the writers, copy-editors, section editors, business and ad managers this paper would not have been able to win these honors."