The Orion takes home first place for best student newspaper in large California colleges


Alex Grant

The Orion received nine awards in total from CCMA, including first place for best newspaper at a large college. L to R: Martin Chang, Sean Martens, Natalie Hanson, Nicole Henson, Kayla Fitzgerald, Julia Maldonado, Alex Grant.



The Orion was named the state’s best college newspaper out of large schools by the California College Media Association Saturday.

CCMA announced the achievement for Chico State at an awards banquet in Long Beach.

This is the independent student newspaper’s second year of winning for best newspaper in the category for colleges with over 10,000 students. It also achieved three other first-place awards in this category.

• best overall newspaper design
• best inside page design
• best sales promotion materials.

“If I wanted to know what’s going on in this community, the Orion would be the paper to go to,” wrote the judge for the best-newspaper category. “Very newsy and accessible. Useful. Nice designs and packaging. And the volume of reporting is impressive.”

The Orion also took home five other awards.

  • best infographic
  • best interactive graphic
  • best color advertisement
  • best social media coverage of a single news event
  • best newspaper column

“This publication was a true standout,” wrote the judge for best overall newspaper design. “Excellent use of photos and graphics. Very engaging. Strong editorial content and hot topics that hit the heart of social interest. The designers know how to bring all the elements together on the pages for true journalistic harmony. Excellent work!”

“It has been a true honor to work alongside so many amazing fellow students during my time at The Orion,” said Kayla Fitzgerald, this semester’s editor-in-chief. “I cannot thank our past leaders for all they have taught me.”

“It was more than an honor to accept these awards on everyone’s behalf. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store with our dedicated, hardworking and creative staff,” said Fitzgerald.

Chico State’s student newspaper, The Orion, has won first place for general excellence among large-school newspapers in the 2018 California College Newspaper Association contest. Editor-in-Chief Kayla Fitzgerald (left), a senior from Livermore, and Managing Editor Julia Maldonado, a junior from Citrus Heights, collected nine awards in all Saturday night at the CCMA awards banquet in Long Beach. Photo credit: Alex Grant

The Orion’s adviser, Mark Plenke, is available for more information at (612) 615-5423.

Natalie Hanson can be reached at [email protected] or @NatalieH_Orion on Twitter.