Jaraya Johnson

(Columbia, S.C.) — Student and professional journalists from across the state showcased their work at the annual South Carolina Press Association conference, April 6 in Columbia, which honored news organizations with awards for newswriting, photography, layout and coverage.

For Winthrop University students, the conference provided an opportunity to network with professionals in the field and gain insight on how the real world differs from a college newspaper.

Scott Farrand, senior instructor at the University of South Carolina and editor of the student produced Carolina News & Reporter, said the experience is priceless.

“(Students) get to see what is on the other side professionally and they get to mingle a little bit with the professionals,” he said.

“To make those connections now with people here and to see the same work, I think is invaluable at some point, because so many of those (former) students are now sitting here and actually winning awards.”

A number of students from Winthrop’s two publications, The Roddey-McMillan Record and The Johnsonian, said they learned a lot after attending the conference.

“Attending the South Carolina Press Association awards has helped me network, learn new information and even talk to peers my age just about page design, photographs, writing, editing and I can take all that information that I’ve learned here and apply it to our publication at Winthrop,” said Alyssa Washington, editor of the RMR.

The Johnsonian collected a few S.C. Press awards, including one for general excellence.