WCU student wins N.C. Press Association awards

A Western Carolina University student recently received two awards in the North Carolina Press Association’s 2009 news, editorial and photojournalism contest.

Justin Caudell (Photo by WCU student Danielle Lightner)

Justin Caudell (Photo by WCU student Danielle Lightner)

Justin Caudell, a junior communication major from Cashiers, was honored for work he completed for his hometown newspaper, the Crossroads Chronicle, between October 2008 and October 2009.

In the contest’s division for community newspapers with a circulation less than 3,500, Caudell won third place in the sports news reporting category for “Blue Ridge Parents Oppose Teams.” Comments from a judge posted on the association’s Web site note that Caudell “fairly presented the reality that sports competition doesn’t always start and end at the game.”  He also won third place in the sports photography category for a Little League action shot.

This year’s press awards bring the 21-year-old to a career total of six. Caudell began working in the journalism industry as a part-time reporter for the Crossroads Chronicle in 2003 and received his first state recognition at the age of 15 for a series of stories he wrote on Hurricane Ivan.

“The N.C. Press Association recognizing me year after year is extremely rewarding,” said Caudell. “I’m truly blessed for the talents in life that God has given me. I could have never imagined that I would be where I am today. The staff of the Crossroads Chronicle saw something in me long before I did and has helped to shape the journalist I have become.”

At Western Carolina University, Caudell is editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, the Western Carolinian. Under his leadership, the newspaper has been a finalist for three awards at the National College Media Convention.

In addition, Caudell was appointed to and serves on Global Newswire’s U.S. national editorial board. The newswire provides student publications with international news content designed to examine topics important to and reported from the perspective of college students.

Caudell is the son of Richard and Rebecca Caudell of Sapphire.