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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Daily Cardinal editor-in-chief Drake White-Bergey, left, and managing editor Tyler Katzenberger, right, hold the 2023 Wisconsin Newspaper Association Collegiate General Excellence award, the top honors for a collegiate newspaper in Wisconsin.

The Daily Cardinal named Wisconsin’s best collegiate newspaper for second straight year

Cardinal staffers won half of all honors at the 2023 Wisconsin Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest, including 12 first place awards.

The Daily Cardinal was again named Wisconsin’s best student newspaper and won half of all awards Friday at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s Collegiate Better Newspaper Contest, including 12 first-place awards.

Friday’s achievement marks the Cardinal’s second year in a row winning collegiate General Excellence, the top honors for a college newspaper in Wisconsin. The Cardinal was also named best student newspaper at the 2022 WNA awards.

In total, the Cardinal won 30 awards Friday and one honorable mention across 17 of 20 categories. 

Cardinal staffers swept all awards in four categories: Collegiate Journalist of the Year, Breaking News Reporting, News Photography and Sports Photography.

Campus news editor Liam Beran was named Collegiate Journalist of the Year, while city news editor emeritus Francesca Pica and editor-in-chief emeritus Sophia Vento won second and third in the category, respectively. Beran received statewide attention for his coverage of the University of Wisconsin System’s response to budget cuts last fall.

Beran also received first-place honors in the Freedom of Information category for a November investigative report that University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman suggested Wisconsin’s public universities “shift away” from liberal arts programs at low-income campuses.

Pica and state news editor Ava Menkes received second-place honors in the category for a November report about legal questions surrounding a student journalism bill introduced in Wisconsin’s state Legislature.

In breaking news, a Cardinal report on a deal between UW leaders and Republican state lawmakers by Menkes, Beran, Pica and arts editor Anna Kleiber received first place. 

The Cardinal’s coverage of protests against racial injustice following a racist video from a UW-Madison student that circulated social media in May 2023 received second in the category, and Beran’s October report about a research survey some students viewed as transphobic received third.

In news photography, editor-in-chief Drake White-Bergey won first place for his photos of a May 3 protest against UW-Madison’s response to the viral video that depicted a white UW-Madison student saying racial slurs and violent remarks toward Black people. White-Bergey and MK Denton won second for their photos of subsequent protests. Alexa Coleman won third for her photo of a student-led candlelight vigil in solidarity with Israel after the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks.

Students are photographed silently protesting on Library Mall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus on May 3, 2023. The students linked arms and protested in silence against UW-Madison's inaction after a video showing a white UW-Madison student using racial slurs circulated online.
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In sports photography, Evan Halpop won first- and third-place awards for his photos of Wisconsin Badgers football games against Buffalo University and Ohio State, respectively. Taylor Wolfram and Dillon Aronoff won second for their photos of a spring basketball match against Iowa State.


Braelon Allen is photographed running the field at the Wisconsin Badgers football game versus Buffalo, where they defeated the Bulls 38-17 on a record-breaking heat gameday at Camp Randall. 

Cardinal writers also won first and second place in the Health Coverage category. Menkes won first for her October report that University Health Services would resume in-state abortion referrals, and Sanjeev Anand won second for his report on accessible transit issues

In multimedia awards, Cardinal Call co-hosts Gavin Escott and Heewone Lim as well as Kleiber and arts editor Gabriella Hartlaub won second place for their reporting on the Blk Pwr Coalition, a student group advocating for racial justice at UW-Madison.

And in page design, staffers took home first and third place for layouts in the Cardinal’s fall action project, “The DIY Issue.” Annika Bereny won first for her DIY music spread, while Lauren Aguila, Meghan Spirito, Cora Spychalla, Cameron Schneider and Mary Bosch won third for a photo feature on downtown Madison record shop B-Side Records.


Steve Manley, the owner of B-Side Records in Madison, is photographed in the store's new 514 State Street location. 

Other first-place awards for the Cardinal include:

  • A feature on union workers fighting to repeal Act 10 (Gavin Escott)
  • A sports feature on former Badgers softball pitcher Maddie Schwartz (Justin Alpert)
  • An opinion column on democratic backsliding in Wisconsin (Graham Brown)

Other second-place awards for the Cardinal include:

  • A public affairs report about student and staff concerns about a funding deal between the UW System and Republican lawmakers (Liam Beran).
  • An in-depth report about experiences of community and loneliness for Jewish students after the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel (Rachel Hale).

Other third-place awards for the Cardinal include:

  • A feature on Zoe Bayliss Cooperative, a housing co-op that found a new home after UW-Madison evicted them from their former building (Mary Bosch, photo editor). 
  • A sports feature on former Badgers basketball player Rashard Griffith (Matthew Neschis).
  • An arts and entertainment feature on Boobzhaus, a student-run underground music venue (Gabriella Hartlaub, arts editor).
  • A photo essay on UW-Madison’s Carillon Tower (Drake White-Bergey).

Cardinal staff writer Kate Eaton was awarded an honorable mention for her feature story, “What a manicure means to Chicago baker, activist Maya-Camille Broussard.”

The Cardinal also won top honors for website design.

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