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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Battalion, Aggieland tell stories, win awards

Over+the+course+of+the+2020-2021+academic+year%2C+The+Battalion+and+the+Aggieland+Yearbook+earned+a+total+of+15+awards+from+various+college+media+outlets+in+recognition+of+the+work+created+by+both+student+media+departments.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Photo by Melanie McBride

Over the course of the 2020-2021 academic year, The Battalion and the Aggieland Yearbook earned a total of 15 awards from various college media outlets in recognition of the work created by both student media departments. 

For years, The Battalion and Aggieland Yearbook have told Texas A&M’s stories. The organizations are being recognized on the national stage for their content during the 2020-2021 academic year. 
The Battalion and Aggieland Yearbook earned a total of 15 awards from the College Media Association and the Associated College Press. The Battalion in particular has received its highest number of awards since 2018. 
Former editor-in-chief of The Battalion and university studies journalism senior Brady Stone said the awards feels like a full-circle moment. Stone said he was a freshman when The Battalion last won a comparable number of awards. 
“The last time The Battalion was this successful with national awards was when former President George H.W. Bush passed away,” Stone said. “Which was obviously a huge news event that The Battalion had very unique access to. We performed really well because we had opportunities that no other paper had.” 
The Aggieland Yearbook, established in 1895, is one of the nation’s largest college yearbooks with the purpose of documenting daily student activities on a year-round basis. Current Aggieland editor-in-chief and psychology junior Kylie Sledge won a Pacemaker award for the 2021 Aggieland Yearbook cover. 
“As a yearbook that is relatively small for such a big school, being recognized on these national stages is such a big deal for us, because it means that our work matters and that we’re doing something important that will be around for years to come,” Sledge said. “It’s nice that not only is the Aggie community appreciating our work, [but] people from around the country as well.” 
Current editor-in-chief of The Battalion and international studies senior Myranda Campanella said COVID-19 created a different environment and prevented many writers from being in the newsroom last year. 
“It definitely pushed us to be ready 24/7 for sure,” Campanella said. “We didn’t know what was happening, and we just had to be ready at the drop of a hat for anything new that came in. I think at the end of the day, we were all still so dedicated that it didn’t matter whether we were at home in our room writing stories or we were pushing on the front lines.” 
Former sports editor Hannah Underwood said it was an honor to win the Pinnacle Award for The Battalion’s 2020 Fall Sports Preview after striving for it for two years.
“I can’t think of a better way to have ended my time as The Battalion’s sports editor than for us to earn the title of Best Sports Section in the nation,” Underwood said. “And to do it in such a difficult year, I have to give the credit to my staff for all the time and energy they devoted to making our desk successful.”
Student Media general manager Douglas Pils said The Battalion can never be certain about what the judges are looking for because it changes each year. 
“After the year we had in the pandemic and time to settle back into some sort of normalcy, the fact that all the work that was done was recognized as it was, was pretty satisfying for the students more than anything,” Pils said. 
Beyond the newsroom, Stone said The Battalion works directly with university journalism classes to publish work. In collaboration with journalism professor Angelique Gammon’s Media Writing class, the students produced a 16-page climate change section, earning a third-place Pacemaker Award for climate change coverage. 
“Getting to work with people who weren’t involved in The Battalion, getting to collaborate with a journalism class was really nice,” Stone said. “It really opened the doors for so many more opportunities that The Battalion has. They’re still publishing packages and newspapers in collaboration with this class. That was a really cool moment for all of us, just because it was outside collaboration.” 
Last year, The Battalion reported on topics including the Black Lives Matter movement, mass shootings and COVID-19, Stone said. For his work covering COVID-19 in sororities, Stone received a second place pacemaker award as well as a fifth place Pacemaker for Reporter of the Year among four-year schools.
“It’s never easy. Writing breaking news is difficult,” Stone said. “Having to talk to people who very often have just had the worst days of their lives, it’s very difficult. It can be really draining, [and] it can cause you to burn out pretty quickly. But getting that recognition, it was really special to me. It was kind of the cherry on top of my time with The Battalion.”
Being a journalist is not for the faint-hearted; Campanella said hate comes with the title of journalist. 
“You sign up for that when you take on this job. No matter what your role is, in any type of news environment, anywhere across the world. We are thankful that we don’t get too much hate here, but it’s obviously rough,” Campanella said. “At the end of the day, we just kind of remember we’re doing our job and not everybody’s going to necessarily like the content that we produce. We’re here; we’re doing our best to make sure we are as 100 percent transparent as possible and that we’re providing the most accurate up-to-date information for our readers.” 
Campanella said it is an honor for the newspaper to win the awards and confirms writers are fulfilling their journalistic duty. 
“We don’t do this for the awards,” Campanella said. “We’re doing this for the audience at the end of the day, and those awards kind of reaffirm that the audience sees that.”

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