Journalism staffs win awards at the statewide convention

Caption: Golden Wave Media and WTHS staff took a trip to Hattiesburg MS for our annual MSPA convention for the first time in 2 years.

On November 1, the Golden Wave Media staff along with members of the WTHS staff had the opportunity to travel to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, for the annual fall MSPA conference.

The conference was held in person for the first time since October of 2019.

“Trips like these are so important for staff learning and bonding. Students get to meet professional journalists and engage with a professional learning community of other students around the state. It gives students the chance to hone their 21st-century skills while earning honors and recognition for their school and themselves,” print journalism adviser Shari Chumley said.

While participating in journalism and yearbook workshops, journalists also participated in several competitions.

“This year at the competition I learned a lot about how to improve our stories and making sure we’re covering all aspects of the school. I also learned how to promote ourselves better, and how to get different information out to the public through social media” senior WTHS staff member Sarah Buzzell said.

“Before I came to the convention, I didn’t know there were many types of journalism. I also didn’t know how much a yearbook could mean. [And that it could] actually win something,” junior yearbook staff member Ian Gregory said.

The Golden Wave Media and WTHS staff walked away with 7 state-wide awards and 14 Best of Show awards.

Best of Mississippi Yearbook Competition (Open to all Yearbooks in the State of Mississippi):
Winner: The Album StaffClass, Best Sports Spread
Winner: Jaycee Hudson and Taylor Guyton, Best Sports Writing/Reporting
Top 5 Finalist: Eli Cannon, Best Illustration/Graphics Package
Top 5 Finalist: Rico Morris, Best Feature Spread
Top 5 Finalist: Drew Long, Nathan Eschete, and Grant Edger Best Feature Writing/ Reporting
Top 5 Finalist: The Album Staff, Best Copy of The Yearbook
Top 5 Finalist: Shari Chumley, Caroline Fair Yearbook Adviser of The Year

Best of Show Competition (limited to participants at the Conference)
Winner: Deonna Thornton, Best News Photo
Winner: Martha Manjarrez, Best Portrait Photo
Winner: WTHS Staff, 75th History of the Publications
Winner: WTHS Staff, Broadcast Best of Show
Winner: Ava Lacey, Multi-media COVID-19 Coverage
Winner: Ava Lacey, Broadcast Best of Show News Story
Winner: Sarah Buzzell, Broadcast Best of Show Feature Story
Winner: Maddie James, /
Broadcast Best of Show Sports Story
Top 3 Finalist: Martha Manjarrez, Best Feature Photo
Top 3 Finalist: Deonna Thornton, Best Feature Photo
Top 3 Finalist: Emmy Dean, Best Candid Visuals
Top 3 Finalist: WTHS Staff, Broadcast Best of Show Creative
Top 3 Finalist: Meri Alan Wolfe, Broadcast Best of Show Feature Story
Top 3 Finalist: Sarah Buzzell, Broadcast Best of Show Sports Story

“I am very proud of all our Tupelo Journalism staff. The fact that the yearbook last year was produced in the midst of the pandemic and with a very small and young staff is award enough for me. The fact that our reporting and design won state-wide awards is icing on the cake,” Chumley said.

The news publications, the Hi-Times and website, and broadcast WTHS will compete for their state-wide honors in March at the MSPA spring conference.