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Oracle staffers receive national recognition

As a rule, newspapers hate writing about themselves.

Not this time.

During last week’s 85th annual Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers National College Media Convention in St. Louis, Mo., two Oracle staff members placed highly in competition that pitted their work against that of collegiate journalists across the country.

Associate Editor Ryan Blackburn placed second in the category of 2006 Reporter of the Year at a four-year institution. Blackburn was the Oracle’s reporter of record during the past year’s deluge of Sami Al-Arian coverage, during which he served as news editor.

Photo Editor Josh Corban placed first in the category of 2006 News Picture of the Year for a photo he took following last year’s 45-14 defeat of the University of Louisville at the hands of the Bulls at Raymond James Stadium.

The photo, which ran with the headline “Unnecessary roughness?” showed four security officers, two in bulletproof vests, subduing a student. The most prominent Tampa Sports Authority officer in the shot has the student in a headlock as he glares tellingly at the camera. The photo provided clear evidence that excessive force was being exercised against students.

Coverage of the melee led to a guest editorial by USF President Judy Genshaft and the enactment of new postgame celebrations. Blackburn wrote the article that accompanied the picture.

-Staff report