‘The Argus’ recognized at awards conference

By Farah Bassyouni Feb 28, 2023

Students from different Illinois college newspapers gather for the announcement of winners

Credit: Farah Bassyouni

The staff of “The Argus” attended the Illinois College Press Association (ICPA) 2023 Conference on Saturday, February 17 and won a total of 11 awards in categories ranging from News, Sports, Features, Photos, Diversity and General Excellence in print and web. 

“ICPA Awards are a big deal,” Professor of English and “The Argus” faculty advisor James Plath said. “Member college newspapers from all over the state submit their two best entries in every category, and Illinois professional journalists judge the categories.”

“The Argus” has been a member of the ICPA for over 30 years, and regularly competed against other colleges and universities in Illinois.  

“Since 1988, when I began teaching journalism and advising the newspaper, ‘The Argus’ has won anywhere from one award to 20,.” Plath said. 

In the late 2000s, “The Argus’s” winning streak declined and the paper only won a few awards each year. But 2020 marked a come-back for the newspaper, when the staff won 12 awards. This year, editors won multiple 1st place and 2nd place awards, and IWU students who submitted articles just once or twice in the past year also won awards or received honorary mentions. 

“Each week I deliver a detailed, often stinging critique of the paper, and I know it’s tough for the staff to hear. But they keep striving to get better, and this staff has worked especially hard to publish a quality newspaper, despite not having a full staff of editors and writers,” Plath said. 

Editor-in-Chief Isabella Parish has seen “The Argus” go through highs and lows in her three years on staff. 

“​​Every week the editorial board puts together a paper we are proud of and knowing that it is valued is a huge accomplishment,” Parish said. “Regardless of how many readers, “The Argus” is run by people who are dedicated to the success of the paper every single week.” 

“I see a lot of great things for “The Argus,” junior Katie Staroszczyk said. Staroszczykjoined “The Argus” as the Opinions Editor this semester. “Seeing other universities’ papers taught us a ton about where we can go and I feel inspired to get creative,” she said. 

“It’s tough enough to publish the newspaper every week. But to do it well? That takes an incredible amount of work, dedication and perseverance. I’m really proud of this group,” Plath said. 


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