Orange Media Network receives 27 national awards


Jess Hume-Pantuso

ACP Pacemaker and CMA Pinnicle awards given to various publication of OMN such as Beavers Digest, Dam Chic and multiple individuals for their work that was created and published throughout the 2021-2022 academic year.

David Li, News Contributor

Oregon State University’s student media program, Orange Media Network, received 27 different national awards for journalism across its branches and individuals as part of the MediaFest22 convention.

Every year, schools across the country compete for these national journalism awards. According to Steven Sandberg, assistant director of student media, this means competing against the “best of the best,” with colleges and universities that host journalism schools and daily newspapers, among others.

Among the awards, PRISM, OMN’s arts and literature magazine, was named Literary Magazine of the Year. Alan Nguyen, creative lead at OMN, was named the Best Graphic Designer as part of the 2022 Pacemaker Awards. DAMchic, the fashion magazine at OMN, received a Pacemaker as one of the Magazines of the Year from the Associated Collegiate Press.

According to Sandberg, OMN’s growth is the culmination of years of effort from students and staff. Here, new students build upon the efforts of previous students and leave behind a legacy that future students can build upon.

According to Sandberg, it comes down to the students taking pride in their work, and the awards are a result of that ambition.

“My hope is that OSU takes pride in its student media department being recognized among the nation’s best, and I hope our readers, viewers and listeners take pride in that as well,”  Sandberg said.

For Draken Reeves, a senior majoring in Graphic Design working as a creative associate at OMN, winning these awards was “mind-blowing,” an event that signifies that the work they do means something big and impactful and not in vain. Reeves edited the issue of DAMchic that received a Pacemaker.

These awards come after a time of rebuilding for OMN after the pandemic. According to Sandberg, a common challenge at OMN is the recruitment of new students in order to teach people the skills to continue building upon the progress of past students’ progress instead of restarting at square one.

The pandemic exacerbated this challenge. During this time, students had to learn how to make content remotely, and many students left OMN after getting back in-person.

For Reeves, and many other students, going back in person after the pandemic meant having to learn how to create content in-person when most of the veteran students had left. 

“We [didn’t] really know what we were doing, and we haven’t had the in-person experiences a lot of past editors have,” Reeves said.

Through tabling, events and recruitment, OMN built back its losses over the past year, according to Sandberg.

Reeves encourages students to apply to DAMchic as a writer if they want to cover something that’s not represented, as DAMchic’s success stems from its inclusion by elevating diversity both on the page and behind the scenes and including a wide range of body types and identities, according to Reeves.

“We will give you the resources you need, and we want you to tell your stories,” Reeves said. 

According to Sandberg, seeing students grow at OMN has been an enjoyable aspect of the job.

“Seeing them grow their skills, grow their confidence and find a home up here is great,” Sandberg said. “I love the little victories from the students; I love seeing those moments where someone on a TV show suddenly gets it, and they nailed a shot or a cut at the exact right time. Those little victories are some of the best parts of my week.”

Sandberg also says that OMN is a place of growth for all students.

“It allows people to be themselves and find their passion,” Sandberg said. “You can be creative at OMN, you can find friends at OMN, you can develop skills and make connections at OMN. I want this to be a place where people can be comfortable and find a home.”

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