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Connecticut College's weekly student newspaper has been awarded first prize for general news reporting by the northeast region of the Society of Professional Journalists. The award, announced April 9, recognized coverage by The College Voice of plagiarism by Peter St. John '09. St. John, the student speaker at the 2009 Commencement, was found later to have copied large sections of his talk from a prior speech by writer Barbara Kingsolver. "Student inquiry is a reflection of the critical thinking skills inherent in a liberal arts education," said Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr.
"I extend my congratulations to the team of students who have worked so hard over the last several years to improve student journalism on campus." The Society of Professional Journalists presents the Mark of Excellence Awards annually to honor the best in student journalism. As a regional winner, The College Voice story will advance to the national competition. National winners will be announced at the Society's spring conference. The award-winning story was co-authored by Ben Gitkind '10 and Lilah Raptopoulos '11. This is the first such award for the student newspaper in recent history. In the past several years, The College Voice, Connecticut College's independent, student-run newspaper, has launched an online presence, redesigned the printed version and expanded news coverage. A broadsheet weekly, the newspaper has a print-run of 2,000, and is distributed to residence halls, faculty and staff offices, dining halls, the student center and academic buildings. It is also mailed to alumni, trustees and parent subscribers.