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Mississippi Press Association Recognizes Blue and Gold Media Reporters for Outstanding Sports Writing

Blue and Gold Media staff members enjoy their new digs in the Baker-Janser Student Media Center in the Aven Fine Arts Building.
Blue and Gold Media staff members enjoy their new digs in the Baker-Janser Student Media Center in the Aven Fine Arts Building.

For two years, journalists with Blue and Gold Media, the “Student Voice of Mississippi College,” have covered University news, Choctaw sports, campus art, and every major event at the Christian University.

They can now add “award-winning” to their moniker.

Student reporters Charlie Williams and Spencer Winans took third-place honors in the 2024 Mississippi Press Association Better News/Media Contest March 21. The pair joined colleagues Emma Ellard, Jill Sanchez, and Elijah Mangum at the MPA’s annual O.C. McDavid Journalism Summit in Ridgeland.

It was the first year Blue and Gold Media was represented at the summit.

“Having MC students represent the University at this event signals that our journalism program is thriving as a digital newsgathering unit,” said Reid Vance, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at MC, which sponsors the Blue and Gold Media.

“Students at the summit heard from longtime Mississippi sports reporter Rick Cleveland and networked with other student journalists from across the state.”

Williams received the award in the Best Sports News Story category for his article, “Choctaws Capitalize off Big Plays, Defeat Chowan 38-21,” while Winans received the award in the Best Sports Feature Story category for his article, “Men’s Soccer Captain Josh Davies Wraps up MC Career.”

Vance said he was proud of the students’ work this year.

“The awards speak to the initiative of our student reporters and their willingness to work hard to tell compelling stories that go beyond basic facts that can be found with a Google search,” he said. “Charlie Williams and Spencer Winans are two of our outstanding sports reporters.

“Charlie’s piece was one of his many that reported on a game beyond the box score and into key takeaways for the reader. Spencer’s profile was a well-researched article on one of the most outstanding but unknown MC student-athletes on our campus.”

Winans, a sports media major from Ocean Springs who will enter the fall semester as a senior, worked closely with the MC soccer team last fall, managing its social media and broadcasting its games. His article spotlighted a four-year starter with the team who hails from England.

“I was honestly surprised to win the award,” said Winans, who is pursuing a career in play-by-play broadcasting. “I have always considered myself a decent writer, so it was validating for me.

“I hope to call play-by-play for minor league baseball one day, but after attending the journalism conference, now I could see myself as a sportswriter as well.”

Vance said Blue and Gold Media helps students prepare for careers in communication.

“Students who are involved with this group develop skillsets that can translate to any number of media and journalism-related careers,” he said. “Blue and Gold Media includes students engaged in news and reporting, video journalism, podcasting, and live sports production.”

MC’s student newsgathering organization continues to grow – at Homecoming 2024, the Department of Communication at MC will dedicate its new Baker-Janser Student Media Center in the Aven Fine Arts Building.

“This new room, made possible by a generous gift from Beth Baker, an MC alumna, and her husband, Kevin Janser, serves as the headquarters for Blue and Gold Media and provides students with meeting and conference space and equipment for editing and producing their stories,” Vance said.

For more information about Blue and Gold Media, click here.