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The Mirror won three awards in Region 6 of the Society of Professional Journalists' (SPJ) 2008 Mark of Excellence competition. The Mirror was recognized for these awards at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon in Bloomington, Minn., in March.
Junior Jessica Lillie and junior J.D. Botana III took second place in the editorial cartooning category for three different political cartoons; senior Alex Marit took third place in feature photography for his homecoming photo of the cheese ball toss; and the entire Lakeland Mirror staff placed third for the Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper for three of its recent issues.
"I hadn't taken very many photos this year, so I was thrilled when I was notified of the win," said Marit.
"When I was told that I'd won an award for something in the Mirror, I was stoked," said Lillie, who is serving as managing editor this semester. "I'm glad they recognized the value of our political cartoons."
Lakeland has won SPJ's Mark of Excellence awards every year since 2003. SPJ's Region 6 includes newspapers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. In the 12 regions of the contest, over 3,600 entries were submitted.
The Mirror also won two Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation (WNA) awards last fall. Sports editor Brad Wilk and former editor-in-chief Lori Sass were given honorable mentions in the weekly news publication division of the WNA contest in their respective categories.
Wilk received his award in the category of sports reporting for his article on the Lakeland's men's volleyball team winning the national championship last April. Sass won in the graphics category for her artwork exhibiting the effects of alcohol on the body.
The WNA holds the contest annually, and the Mirror last won awards in 2006.
"I am very proud of the entire staff," said Erik Hyrkas, who serves as editor-in-chief this semester. "Without their constant quality contributions, these awards would be fewer and further between."