The Patriot takes home first place honor

Brittany Parker, Editor-in-Chief

Francis Marion’s student-run newspaper, The Patriot, was awarded first place in the best overall category of the under 5,000 division by the South Carolina Press Association (SPCA).

This award recognizes the newspaper for its dedication to covering events that affect its students, faculty and staff.

The newspaper, along with three individual staff members, were honored by the SPCA.

Professor David Sacash, newspaper advisor for The Patriot and associate professor for the Mass Communication Department, expressed his thoughts on the honor.

“Winning the awards is a professional accomplishment for the student newspaper staff,” Sacash said. “This is the second year in a row The Patriot has been named the best college newspaper in its class. In the last three years the newspaper has won 10 awards.”

Brittany Nance, who worked as editor of The Patriot for one year, was also pleased with the newspaper’s accomplishments.

“I’m so proud of last year’s staff,” Nance said. “We all worked really hard to meet the expectations that the previous year’s awards set and we’re all so excited that The Patriot continues to grow and gain this kind of positive attention.”

Staff members Paul Cheezem, Brooke Rogers and Staci Poston each placed in their respective categories.

Cheezem, an editorial writer, received first place in the “Column Writing” category.

Rogers, an editorial cartoonist, took home the second place award for her comical illustrations.

Poston, who was working as The Patriot’s copy editor at the time, won third place in the “Arts and Entertainment Story” category. Poston has since been promoted to an assistant editor position.

“I don’t usually write that many articles, so I was both very excited and very surprised to find out that I won an award for one of the articles that I did,” Poston said. “Apparently, I’m good both at playing and writing about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.”

There will be new challenges for the student newspaper during the 2010-2011 school year. A new editorial team has been named to run the newspaper. Brittany Parker, a senior mass communication/English major, has taken over the position of the new editor.

“Her role will be to lead the editorial and advertising team,” Sacash said. “Parker is very professional and has been working over the summer to continue the high professional standards required to lead the print and web publications.”

Nance, who will be studying abroad in England this fall, also expressed her support of the new editor.

“It will be exciting to see what someone else can do with the newspaper in the upcoming year,” Nance said.

The Patriot is currently accepting applications for both the fall and spring semesters. Applications are available either through e-mail at or at The Patriot’s office in UC 201.