The Suffolk Journal website was honored with a 2014 National College Journalism Convention Best of Show Award from the Associated Collegiate Press during the organization’s recent national convention. The Journal website placed ninth in the small-school category.

“To be recognized for your website when you're going up against more than 250 schools, especially when some of them have only a Web presence,” is a point of pride for the student journalists who staff and edit the campus news organization, said senior Alex Hall, editor-in-chief of the weekly Suffolk Journal.

Building on success

The Suffolk Journal’s online presence has won national attention in three of the past four years. Last year it placed 10th in the Best of Show competition. And in 2010, after revamping its online presence, the Journal won the Online Pacemaker Award, which Hall calls “the Pulitzer Prize of college newspapers.”

“One of the things I wanted to stress this year was building an online identity that is different from that of the print newspaper,” said Hall, who, in addition to managing the Suffolk Journal is a high school sports correspondent for the Boston Globe and a featured columnist for the Dallas Cowboys’ Bleacher Report.

Hall and his team of about 25 student writers and editors have revamped the Suffolk Journal Web edition by:

  • Posting breaking news rather than waiting for the weekly print edition
  • Partnering with Professor Dana Rosengard to present video content from a broadcast journalism class
  • Adding material beyond what fits the paper’s news hole
  • Encouraging staffers to write blogs on the Suffolk Journal website

The Journal collects data on website hits, which reached a high of 1,000 on the final Wednesday of February 2014. Typically online content will get additional hits as the Journal staff emails subscribers and uses social media to promote added stories during the course of a week.

“I'm proud of the staff for coming up with new ideas both in print and online,” says Hall. “I hope next year the paper will be even stronger.”