Midway, staffers receive top awards for print, online editions


Midway Staff

The U-High Midway won 15 first place awards in the 2021 Illinois Journalism Education Association Newspaper and Digital News Media Contest.

Jack Hurst, Reporter

The U-High Midway is again among the top student newspapers in Illinois, winning 15 first place awards in the 2021 Illinois Journalism Education Association Newspaper and Digital News Media Contest

The Midway won Best Hybrid Publication for its print and online editions,  Best Website and placed second for Best Overall Publication for its division composed of schools who enroll  850 students or fewer.

Additionally, two entries could be submitted for contests that covered March 2020 to March 2021. The Midway staff won 30 awards in 19 out of 25 categories entered: 15 first place, 10 second place, four third place and an honorable mention. 

The full list of awards is below.

Berk Oto won three first place awards and one second place award. He said the Midway played an important role during distance learning.

“Having a common place to share the community’s experiences and general information brought us closer together at this difficult time,” he said. “I think the awards are a manifestation of the work our staff has been doing throughout this unique year.”


Best News Story

First place: 94 teachers at risk for 2021-22 layoff, Amanda Cassel


Best In-Depth News Story

First place: Struggling in Solitude, Caroline Hohner, An Ngo

Second place: U-High students overwhelmingly choose Biden  Amanda Cassel


Best Feature Story

First place: StreetWise has changed the face of homelessness in Chicago, Adrianna Nehme


Best Personality Profile

First place: Built on a Lab foundation: Alumnus Paul Sagan employs experiential learning in leadership roles, Berk Oto


Best Sports Commentary

Second place: To fulfill commitment to student athletes, colleges should reallocate funds and not cut teams, Colin Leslie

Third place: ‘Friendly Confines,’ not confined to home: It’s time for fans to return to stands, Christian Gluth


Best Staff Editorial

First place: Lab must approach faculty bias with transparent, fair guidelines, Berk Oto, Amanda Cassel

Second place: Teachers should consider cutting curriculum to increase learning, Lucia Kouri, Ella Beiser, Amanda Cassel


Best Serious Commentary

First place: We all have to do our part in social distancing, Ella Beiser

Honorable mention: Inclusion at Lab must mean more than a single identifier, Téa Tamburo


Best Review

Third place: Feminism and Freedom: “What the Constitution Means to Me” entertains with wit, provokes political introspection, Caroline Hohner


Best News or Feature Photo

First place: Photo 4: Downtown Chicago protest against racial injustice, Maria Shaughnessy

Second place: Protesting parents, Elliott Taylor


Best Sports Photo

First place: Boys basketball vs. North Shore Country Day School, Miriam Bloom

Third place: Golfer Emily Chang, Chloe Ma


Best Headline

Second place: Election 2020: Final lap and recap, Amanda Cassel

Third place: Baking a difference: Student launches online bakery, donates proceeds to charities, Peter Pu, Grace Holleb


Best Alternative Storytelling

First place: Take our social distancing friendly walking tour of Chicago’s neighborhoods, An Ngo, Caroline Hohner, Colin Leslie


Best Use of Social Media

First place: Instagram — Meena Lee, Berk Oto

Second place: Facebook — Berk Oto, Noa Appelbaum, Meena Lee, Téa Tamburo


Best Single-Page Story Package

First place: March 9, 2021, Page 1, Ella Beiser, Amanda Cassel, Sahanna Unni & Nicky Edwards-Levin


Best Front-Page Design

First place: March 9, 2021, Page 1, Ella Beiser, Amanda Cassel


Best Overall Design

Second place: March 12, 2021, Amanda Cassel, Nicky Edwards-Levin, Ella Beiser, Peter Pu


Best Audio Journalism

First place: One year of distance, Ella Beiser

Second place: Without volunteers, organizations need extra assistance, Adrianna Nehme


Best Multimedia Story Package

First place: Shared spaces: Families come to understand distance learning, work lives, Caroline Hohner

Second place: Promontory Point provides safe, nostalgic outdoor space to see friends, take part in activities, Clare O’Connor


Best COVID-19 Coverage — April 1, 2020, to March 15, 2021

Second place: Chicago’s Latinx communities face unique challenges combating pandemic, Ella Beiser