Arrow Editor Named MCMA’s Journalist of the Year, Southeast Arrow Receives Top Awards


Kara Hartnett, editor of the Arrow, the student newspaper of Southeast Missouri State University, was named Journalist of the Year at the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) Conference April 7-8 at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

Hartnett of Metamora, Illinois, a senior double major in multimedia journalism and global cultures and languages, global studies option, Latin American civilization track, has served as the editor of the Arrow this school year.

“Kara is the most innovative, inspiring editor I’ve had the pleasure of working with,” said Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck, faculty advisor to the Arrow and multimedia journalism coordinator in Southeast’s Department of Mass Media. “She has challenged her peers to dig deeper in their reporting and work harder to increase the Arrow’s visibility on campus every day. They do it because she is charismatic, demanding and leads by example.”

Hartnett attributes her success to her staff, and Southeast’s multimedia journalism  program and faculty.

“I think my award truly is a testament to the people I had the privilege of working with at the Arrow, and all the hard work they put in to make our vision work,” Hartnett said. “Dr. Buck is the sole proprietor to who I am as a journalist. She shaped my values, writing and leadership into what they are today. If anything is a testament to the incredible journalism program we have at Southeast, it’s the progress I have made in my three years of being in it.”

Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck and Kara Hartnett at the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) Conference.

In total, the Arrow brought home 12 awards, including four first-place, three second-place, three third-place finishes, one honorable mention, along with the Journalist of the Year.

“I’m excited about this year’s wins because they reward the effort the staff put into a number of complex projects,” Buck said. “The amount of planning, variety of storytelling techniques and coordination required for cross-platform delivery for each project was immense and occurred on top of the regular workload. I’m glad the hard work paid off.”

The Arrow took the top two places in the “Special Section/Supplement” category for their special editions titled “More Than,” an investigative report of “university compliance with applicable legislation in accordance with disabilities within its built, learning and living environment,” and “Accounting for Assault,” an investigative report published last spring of the “prevalence, complexities and accountability of sexual assault at Southeast.” The Arrow also took first and third places in the “Campus Engagement” category among Division I schools. The awards recognized student work promoting the Arrow’s Shoeboxes of Caring promotion and its weekly What’s Up SEMO man on the street videos.

“The staff worked so hard to make all these awards happen for our 2017 submissions,” Hartnett said. “We’ve been working even harder in 2018, and I can’t wait to see what that brings us in the future.”

MCMA awards presented to the Arrow were:

  • First Place, Campus Engagement, Division I (Sydney Rodgers)
  • First Place, Multimedia Package (Staff)
  • First Place, Story Illustration (Taria Graham)
  • First Place, Special Section/Supplement (Staff)
  • Second Place, Column (Micaela Griffin)
  • Second Place, Investigative Reporting (Staff)
  • Second Place, Special Section/Supplement (Staff)
  • Third Place, Campus Engagement, Division I (Shane Burke and Peter Lewis)
  • Third Place, Feature Page (Danielle Brown, Taria Graham, Olivia Moyers and Katelyn Mary Skaggs)
  • Third Place, In-Depth News Reporting (Staff)
  • Honorable Mention, Column (Rachael Long)