College Coverage of LGBT Issues Takes Center Stage at Florida Awards Contest

First place winners, Sofia Zuniga and Veronica Hernandez. Photos via

Sofia Zuniga and Veronica Hernandez took home first place in the college category Best Coverage of LGBT Issues at the Sunshine State Awards. The winners were revealed in a ceremony August 25 in Fort Lauderdale at ArtServe.

Zuniga and Hernandez won for their story “Shevrin Jones, Florida’s first openly gay senator, fights to hold onto his job” published in Florida International University’s Caplin News.

The judges had this to say: “Good journalism is not about just spouting facts and figures. It's about telling stories. This story was a story not a ‘report.’ It kept my attention the entire way through with its writing and quotes. Well done.”

The annual awards contest is presented by the Florida Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Second place went to Carter Mudgett for the story “Parental Rights in Education bill will ‘hurt a very vulnerable community,’ UNF LGBT Center director says” published in the Spinnaker, University of North Florida’s student newspaper.

Finally, third place went to Savannah Peifer for the story “Transgender FAUPD detective files discrimination lawsuit against Board of Trustees” published in the University Press, Florida Atlantic University’s student newspaper.

“I think it’s so great SPJ Florida encourages students to cover the LGBTQ community,” said OutSFL Publisher Jason Parsley. “Kudos to all of them for their excellent work. Savannah has since written one of our first cover stories when we launched in June.”

That story “The DeSantis Defiers: Meet 5 LGBT Activists Who Are Giving the Governor Hell” can be found here.


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