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Reporter wins three student SPJ awards


ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The Missouri Times is congratulating one of its own, Ashley Jost, for winning three Mark of Excellence Awards during the Society of Professional Journalists conference Saturday afternoon.

Jost took home first place in general news reporting and feature writing, as well as second place in column writing, all for medium-sized schools. The stories were pieces she wrote during 2012 for the Truman State University student newspaper.

The Mark of Excellence Awards are given to students from three school-size categories ranging from different areas of reporting, radio, and television broadcast, as well as photography and design.

“It’s humbling, really,” Jost said. “There was one story in particular that meant a lot to me to receive first place. I had a young woman really let me into her life and write about her experience with brain cancer, and since I wrote it she passed away. I’d like to think it’s in her honor.”

Jost’s stories were:

  • Hope in the face of death‘ — a feature about a young woman’s battle with brain cancer and her plans to be cryogenically frozen in death
  • Medical accreditation programs plan to merge‘ — a story about the coming merger of medical doctors and doctors of osteopathic medicine and the effect it could have on the medical field
  • Column writing — three columns: one about the First Amendment, another about Jost’s love for politics, and a third about the trials and triumphs of raising a puppy

“I’m proud of her,” Missouri Times President Rod Jetton said. “Before she came to our paper I could see she liked to write about all kinds of issues, and this shows she’s pretty good at it on top of that. It makes me glad to have her on-board.”

To contact Scott Faughn, email, or via Twitter at @scottfaughn.