OR Magazine and Flux win CSPA Gold Crown Awards

Nicole Dahmen accepts the CSPA Gold Crown Awards for OR Magazine and Flux.
Nicole Dahmen accepts the CSPA Gold Crown Awards for OR Magazine and Flux.

Story by Ryan Lund

Each year the Columbia Scholastic Press Association recognizes the best of the best in college digital and print publications with its Crown Awards, the most prestigious honors the organization presents. This year, two UO School of Journalism and Communication publications, OR Magazine and Flux Magazine, took home Gold Crowns.

Flux’s publication is a structured class in the SOJC (J-475/575). Students research and produce the issue over winter and spring term and publish a new issue each June. Last year’s Flux team, which included 16 editorial staffers and 12 designers, decided to tackle the issues surrounding race and identity for its award-winning 2016 issue.

“The Gold Crown award is yet another feather in Flux’s cap,” said the magazine’s faculty adviser, Todd Milbourn. “Our students tackled a complex and ambitious mix of stories last year, and it’s wonderful to see that work recognized at the national level.”

Milbourn said the most important skill the students learn in the class is how to work in a professional news environment. Deadlines, tough edits and thinking through stories are essential skills they can learn best through hands-on experiential learning.

OR Magazine, advised by SOJC Assistant Professor Nicole Dahmen, is a student-run iPad publication that teaches students how to create content for a digital platform. Dahmen attributes the 2016 issue — OR Magazine’s “Solutions Issue” — overall Gold Crown win to the students’ copious research and high-quality photos and video.

“The Gold Crown award is a tremendous honor, and I’m incredibly proud of the work these students did in just 10 short weeks,” Dahmen said.

For many of the students on the OR Magazine staff, it was their first true publication experience, so one of the things Dahmen focuses on is creating a comfortable and supportive environment for them to learn and grow.

“The iPad platform did present some challenges,” said Erin Hampton, a journalism senior who wrote a feature article in the issue. “Obviously this magazine is somewhat limited to people who actually own or have access to iPads, so our audience was more narrow than when writing for a normal web or print settings. However, I really valued this particular experience because it helped me practice how to think, write and design for a specific platform.”

Three OR Magazine staff members also won individual CSPA Crown Awards:

  • Delaney Engle, Michaela Giunchigiani and Judy Holtz won second place in the Photo and Digital Slide Show category for"Engendering Equal Education-VO Gender Inclusive Residential Hall."
  • Shirley Chan won first place in the Video Feature Package category for "Grow for Vets- Nathan Paine Profit." 
  • Michaela Ginnchigliani and Zachary Silva won third place in the Video Feature Package category for "Engendering Equal Education — Spencer Buttle Middle School's Gay Straight Alliance." 

Ryan Lund is a senior double-majoring in cinema studies and journalism, with a minor in business administration. This is his first year as a digital content creator, with a specialization in videography and video editing, for the SOJC Communications office. Follow Ryan on Instagram and Twitter @RynoLund, and subscribe to his YouTube channel at NorthFern Productions.