Posted February 23, 2012 Atlanta, GA
Communications and Marketing
The Technique, long heralded as the “South’s liveliest college newspaper,” recently earned a new honor to accompany its lively claims. The Georgia Collegiate Press Association awarded the student-run newspaper first place in general excellence in its 2011 Better Newspaper Contest.
The Technique placed in numerous categories, including first in general excellence, best review and best campus community service (sports). It also earned second place in best review, as well as in best photograph (sports), best editorial or editorial series, best website and best community service (features). It earned third in layout and design, best campus community service (editorial) and best campus community service (news). The first place awards all were earned in categories where the Technique did not win last year.
“I’m really proud of the whole staff for doing as well as they did. We got more individual awards this year, which is really impressive and a testament to the talent we have,” said Editor-in-Chief Vijai Narayanan. “This isn’t something you can do if it doesn’t resonate with you — it’s too much for just for your resume.”
Since assuming the leadership role last year, Narayanan and his staff have worked to keep readers top of mind and be in tune with those who they serve, aiming to strike a balance between content people find interesting and what’s relevant or important to students but not necessarily as enticing. Many sections have been revamped, including the Focus and Sports sections.
“Sports was one we had wanted to win for a long time,” Narayanan said of the GCPA honors. “I’m really proud of Alex [Sohani] … he’s really geared the section to the average sports fan.”
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Aside from earning the GCPA recognitions this year, Narayanan has started a business team to sell advertising and is analyzing distribution to make sure the right amount of copies of the newspaper are in the right places on campus — in addition to leading a staff in putting out a paper each week.
“We’re very fortunate that most students come [to the Technique] wanting to write, and we want them to feel like they’re improving,” Narayanan said. “Not just their style, but also as reporters — it’s an important skill to have. It helped me come out of my shell, be more inquisitive, be better at gathering information from people — it’s very useful, not just in stories.” In addition to writing, the Technique also provides creative outlets for its design and photography teams and business experience for its sales team.
Of course, staff members are not the only ones whose words appear in the Technique. Students submit hundreds of slivers each week hoping to get a few words in the next issue. The Technique lifted the idea for slivers from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in the early 2000s, and it began as a slim box along the bottom of each page with random musings by editors. A few years later, sliver submissions opened to all students on nique.net. The curator of these anonymous messages maintains his or her own anonymity in compiling them each week.
“What goes in is really at the discretion of the person who puts them in the paper,” said Narayanan. “The things I love are the ones that, if you read it, you know it’s about you but no one else would.” Slivers are added to the paper each Wednesday night during the Technique’s production.
The Technique’s weekly Tuesday night staff meetings — which include free pizza — are open to all students interested in any aspect of the paper’s operation.
“Everything we do is a smaller version of what gets done in the real world,” Narayanan said. “We have a physical product at the end of the every week and something to show for what we’ve done. That’s immensely gratifying.”