El Leñador named ‘Best All-Around Student Newspaper’ by Society of Professional Journalists

Humboldt State University’s bilingual monthly newspaper, El Leñador, received the “Best All-Around Student Newspaper ” as part of the 2020 Mark of Excellence regional award for the Society of Professional Journalists.

El Leñador was recognized by the SPJ, a nationally-recognized non-profit organization that establishes best practices in the journalism profession in the United States. Every year they recognize the accomplishments of media organizations all throughout the United States through their award programs.

“Winning this award means that people, even outside of this community, recognize the important work that our team puts into producing El Leñador,” said Nancy Garcia, one of three editors-in-chief of El Leñador this spring, who was also on staff in 2020. “That’s a really good feeling because we work hard.”

Spring 2020 editor-in-chief of El Leñador Carlos Holguin said that the spring semester of 2020 was difficult due to the transfer to quarantine. It became unclear how to move forward with the publication but we figured out how to work together while we were apart.  

“El Leñador won some fantastic awards and I’m immensely proud,” Holguin said. “We were able to show people that we may be students but we are capable of putting out this incredible work.”

El Leñador reporter and artist Kassandra Rice was a finalist in the Editorial Cartooning category for her COVID-19 cartoons. She is a 2020 HSU political science graduate, and said “It feels great to have my work acknowledged especially since this was at the beginning of my illustration journey.” The award inspires her to show her art to the world.

HSU students participated in SPJ’s Region 11 competition, including Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada and Mariana Islands. First-place winners will move on to SPJ’s national journalism competition. National winners will be notified in the late spring and will be recognized at SPJ’s national conference.


El Leñador
Best All-Around Student Newspaper
Winner: El Leñador English and Spanish Newspaper – by Staff

Editorial Cartooning
Finalist: COVID-19 cartoons by ricegrain – by Kassandra Rice

Feature Photography
Winner: Black Lives Matter: The digital mobilization of citizen journalists – by Julie Navarro

The Lumberjack
Online/Digital Sports Videography
Winner: San Jose State University football team comes to Humboldt – by Dakota Cox, Skylar Gaven, Thomas Lal

Breaking News Photography
Finalist: Eureka protests erupt after George Floyd murder – by Thomas Lal

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