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For the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down UP’s campus in March 2020, The Bluff came alive with a full crop of students and in-person learning for fall 2021 semester.

Beacon Boot Camp training was on campus for the first time since fall 2019, but with added precautions. Whenever possible, we held our training sessions in a tent on The Bluff. It was so pleasant that many wondered why we hadn’t thought of that before.

For sessions that needed technology, we had a large classroom in Shiley Hall, which allowed for social distancing. Still we wore masks there to minimize risk.

Scenes from Beacon Boot Camp 2021

Editor-in-Chief Austin De Dios
News & Managing Editor William Seekamp
Living Editor Havi Stewart
Opinion Editor (fall) Mia Werner
Sports Editor (fall) | Opinion Editor (spring) Sadie Wuertz
Copy Editor/Sr.Reporter Carlos Fuentes
Multimedia Editor Brennan Crowder
Community Engagement Editor Brie Haro

The Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism has selected Beacon staffers Carlos Fuentes and William Seekamp for paid journalism internships this summer. The ethics-based, hands-on program through the University of Oregon places select college journalists at media outlets throughout Oregon.

Carlos will work as a reporter at the La Grande Observer.

Carlos Fuentes, copy editor/senior reporter at The Beacon

William will be a reporter at the Mail Tribune in Medford.

William Seekamp, 2021-22 news and managing editor

The Beacon will benefit from all they learn, as Carlos and William are returning in newsroom leadership positions in the fall. William is the 2021-22 news and managing editor. Carlos is copy editor and senior reporter.

The Snowden internship program has been a launching pad for several Beacon alumni now working as professional journalists.

Winners to be announced June 8. More information here.

The Beacon has won five Gold Circle Awards for digital media in a variety of multimedia categories. These awards draw entries from schools around the country, including large universities with major journalism programs. The Gold Circle Awards are sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, which is based at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York City. The entry period covered content published between Oct. 2, 2019 and Oct. 12, 2020.

FIRST PLACESingle Spot News Photograph : Ryan Reynolds for “Toxic air fills The Bluff”

SECOND PLACE Podcast: Jennifer Ng, Molly Lowney for “What on Earth?”

SECOND PLACEVideo Feature Package: Taylor Ursulum, “The Beacon reflects on Student Press Freedom Day”

THIRD PLACEInteractive Graphic: Brennan Crowder, “2020 Summer recap: Everything that’s happened since COVID-19 shutdown campus”

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL INTERACTIVE

THIRD PLACE Photo Illustration: Brennan Crowder, “Computers get Zoom fatigue too”

The judges also awarded Certificates of Merit for the following:

First Person Experience: Mia Werner, “Anti-Semitism at UP: We must condemn bigotry always”

Personality Profile: Havi Stewart, “Isley Cachero: Fighting to be the 1%”

Sports Feature: Lindsey Warren, “A chance to get off the hamster wheel: Fall sports coaches share how coaching and their lives changed during the COVID-19 pandemic”

Photo Slideshow: Molly Lowney, “Environmental Justice Immersion brings revelations from UP’s backyard”

UP President Fr. Mark Poorman, upon recommendation of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Student Media, has appointed Austin De Dios Editor-in-Chief for the 2021-22 academic year. Read more about Austin here.

Austin De Dios, 2021-22 editor-in-chief Photo: Brennan Crowder

Austin recently scored a prestigious internship, which will prepare him well for the top position at The Beacon as well as his future career: He is among 86 college journalists from around the nation chosen to be part of this summer’s Dow Jones News Fund internship program. He will receive intensive training in business reporting through the program, and work as a reporter for the Portland Business Journal.

Austin has appointed the following staffers to next year’s Beacon Editorial Board: Havi Stewart, Carlos Fuentes, William Seekamp, Mia Werner, Brennan Crowder, Sadie Wuertz and Brie Haro.

Opinion Editor Mia Werner is graduating in December, and Sadie Wuertz will step into that role spring semester. Austin will hire a new sports editor for spring.

The Beacon has won four First Place awards in the 2021 regional Mark of Excellence competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The contest involved college media outlets from five states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The following now advance to the national SPJ Mark of Excellence competition.

FIRST PLACE Breaking News Reporting* – Gabi DiPaulo for “Administrator goes public with concerns about racism and sexism within UP administration”

*colleges and universities with enrollment below 10,000

FIRST PLACE Data Visualization- Austin De Dios for his portfolio of interactive data visualizations including from this story on COVID-19 furloughs and salary cuts.

FIRST PLACE Podcast- Molly Lowney, Jennifer Ng for “What on Earth: Food for Thought” (episode 5)

FIRST PLACE Feature Writing*- Mia Werner “Chasing Ice with the U.S. Coast Guard”

*colleges and universities with enrollment below 10,000

FINALISTS

Several other Beacon staffers were finalists (Second or Third Place) in the regional competition:

Breaking News Reporting

Carlos Fuentes – “Over 200 Bon App workers lose their jobs at UP”

General News Reporting

Carlos Fuentes – COVID-19 testing available at UP; information not so much

In-depth Reporting

Brie Haro – “Pilots on the front lines seeking change”

Feature Writing

Molly Lowney – “Going viral: UP students find fame and fortune on TikTok”

Feature Photography

Ryan Reynolds – “Stop reading this and go outside” (slideshow)

Beacon photojournalist Ryan Reynolds

Photo Illustration

Brennan Crowder – “Computers get Zoom fatigue too”

General Column Writing (team entry):

Jennifer Ng – “Why I’m not watching Disney’s live-action Mulan

Mia Werner – “Anti-Semitism at UP: We must condemn bigotry in the classroom always”

Laura Heffernan – “OCD is not an adjective”

Sports Writing

Kyle Garcia – “Chase Adams steps up as glue of the family as grandmother battles coronavirus”

William Seekamp – “I’m not going to just sit back and do nothing”

Dora Totian (’20) leads a training session at Beacon Boot Camp training in August 2019. She recently won the Snowden Ethics Award.

***

Dora Totoian, 2019-20 Beacon Opinion Editor and reporter, has won one of two annual Snowden Ethics Awards, given each year to select interns in the Charles Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism. The Snowden program, named after a former editor of The Oregonian and Oregon Journal, places young journalists in paid summer internships in media organizations around Oregon.

Journalistic ethics are a main focus of the competitive Snowden program, which is based at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon. The summer internship program accepts applications from students from any Oregon college or university who have completed a basic reporting course or worked at a campus publication. (Dora started as a reporter at The Beacon her freshman year.)

During her internship, Dora worked as a reporter at the News-Register in McMinnville, where she managed to (safely!) cover a wide variety of stories including the COVID-19 pandemic at a local level, wildfires, protests and politics. Infused in the daily challenge of reporting on community events and issues are ethical case studies that require Snowden interns to reflect on issues journalists confront in their work.

No one who worked with Dora at The Beacon would be surprised that among the 18 Snowden interns, Dora stood out for her ethical practices and reflections.

Below is video of the announcement of her award, which, due to the pandemic, occurred at a virtual reception on Zoom. Typically, this event is a catered affair at the UO Agora Journalism Center in downtown Portland.

Hear what UO Associate Professor of Journalism and Snowden Program Co-Coordinator Nicole Dahmen said about Dora:

“Her writing was excellent, her thought process and ethical reasoning were solid. In addition, she raised ethical questions for us to consider and think about.”

-Nicole Dahmen, UO journalism professor on Dora Totoian

This was the second time in recent years a Beacon staffer has won the Snowden Ethics Award.

2017-18 Editor-in-Chief Rachel Rippetoe won the award after her Snowden internship at the Eugene Register-Guard during the summer of 2017.