Student voice of Wabash wins 2023 Division III Newspaper of the Year
The Bachelor won the prize for best Division III newspaper at the Indiana Collegiate Press Association (ICPA) awards on Saturday, April 1. The student voice of Wabash picked up a total of 28 awards, including best themed issue, best staff editorial and all four first-place prizes for photography.
There was fierce competition in DIII, with five small colleges from across the state submitting entries. Last year’s winners, The Record of Goshen College, finished in second place ahead of The Echo from Taylor University. The Andersonian (Anderson University) and The Oak Leaves (Manchester University) also took home a handful of awards.
“It’s an absolute honor, and I’m so proud of our team and the work we’ve accomplished,” said Senior Editor-in-Chief Cooper Smith ’23. “Unlike many of our competitors, we don’t have a journalism program here at Wabash—so all of our writers and editors are learning as we go. I think it’s a strength of our paper, and I think it’s a quirk that has made us so successful in true liberal arts style.”
The Bachelor newsroom picked up seven awards for its editorial work. The Monon Bell special issue “Beat DePauw!” from November 2022 won best themed issue, while the final issue of the fall 2022 semester placed second for best single issue.
“Student journalism often doesn’t seem sexy, but I think it’s an opportunity to take big-picture stories—national and international headliners—and find connections to college campuses,” said Smith. “We’ve tried to do that this year, from Trump to Ukraine. And I think that’s a vital role for student journalists to play in local, close-knit community discussions about global affairs.”
One such international-focused story with a Wabash angle was Smith’s “Phil Goss ’90: ‘Fixer and knower of things.’” The featured interview with Goss, an alumnus who is currently delivering humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees, placed second in the feature page design category. Benjamin Bullock ’23 also took second place for his opinion column titled “Rishi Sunak epitomizes Britain’s flawed democracy,” a commentary on the U.K.’s recent political woes from the eyes of a Wabash international student.
On the design front, The Bachelor staff won top honors for front page design and sports page design, as well as placing third in overall design.
“The Bachelor being recognized by the ICPA as one of the best college publications in the state is a greatly deserved salute,” said Allie Northcutt, one of The Bachelor’s advisors. “The editorial board had a steep learning curve with a young staff as they started the year with a complete redesign of the paper. I’m incredibly proud of these student journalists who never stopped working hard to continuously improve and raise the bar for themselves.”
But among the many awards, it was The Bachelor’s photographers who really stole the show. Photo editors Jake Paige ’23 and Elijah Greene ’25 picked up a combined seven awards, including best news photography (Greene, “Sigma Chi wins Chapel Sing”) and best photo essay (Paige, “Chess grandmaster leaves Wabash 31-0”).
On top of his four photography awards, Greene also placed second for best sports column with his piece “Classic smashmouth basketball.” His five awards made Greene this year’s most decorated member of The Bachelor staff.
“It’s incredible to have both of the mediums that I work in recognized at the state level,” said Greene. “I never set out to be a writer for The Bachelor, but as time has gone on, I’ve really found my passion for writing sports stories—especially features—for the paper.”
In the editorial cartoon category, cartoonist Arman Luthra ’26, a freshman international student from India, won the first and second place awards. Luthra’s winning entry was titled “Don’t fall for Qatar’s sportswashing,” a scathing critique of the 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts’ poor human rights record.
“It is an honor to have been recognized with the top two awards,” said Luthra. “This experience has inspired me to pursue journalism further during my time at Wabash. I am humbled by this recognition and eager to continue developing my skills.”
In last year’s ICPA competition, The Bachelor won 11 awards and finished in third place. This year is the first time since 2017 that The Bachelor has taken the top prize.
“It feels great to be back on top,” said Smith. “And I know that next year’s staff can turn this year’s success into a streak.”