Sabine Benda

The Oracle takes home two awards at national journalism competition

Hamline University’s student newspaper, the Oracle, was honored with two awards at the Associated Collegiate Press Spring Media Convention March 6-9. This is the third consecutive year in which the Oracle has achieved top-ten finishes in ACP competition.

Oracle News Editor Sabine Benda ’24 English and Communication Studies received awards for outstanding News Reporting and for Feature Reporting. Benda was the lead author on both award-winning pieces. 

“It is lovely to get recognition for my writing and reporting, and for my team to get that recognition as well,” Benda said. “I work collaboratively with an incredibly competent, creative, uplifting team who make my reporting and writing better, and make our newspaper better.”

Benda’s article, “Won’t you be their neighbor?” took ninth-place nationally for News Reporting and chronicled the effects of repeated evictions on unhoused residents of Camp Nenookaasi in Minneapolis. Senior Max Ridenour contributed to the piece.

“For the news piece, the approach to reporting was some research but was mostly spending time at Camp Nenookaasi as much as possible to talk with residents and organizers,” said Benda, who prefers to tackle hard-news stories. “Meeting new people and hearing their stories is a beautiful way to spend time, I feel really lucky that I get to be part of sharing those stories.”

Benda and Oracle staff also took sixth-place in Feature Writing for the article “A reflection on the 20th president of Hamline University, Dr. Fayneese Miller.”

“For the President Miller feature, I did long interviews with Dr. Miller and did lots of research, mostly digging through Oracle archives, to tell the comprehensive story of her presidency,” Benda said.

Benda came to Hamline as a transfer student and quickly made the most of her time on campus.

“I only got two years here and I have gotten to accomplish so much more than I thought possible,” she said. “Having a small school with faculty and staff who want to help me grow and provide the resources I need to do so has afforded me the ability to create a podcast, become the news editor at the Oracle, study abroad, make incredible friendships and take many interesting classes in just two years.

After graduation, Benda, a global communications major, plans to pursue a career in journalism. Her experience studying abroad in Cairo last year helped inform that decision.

“The classes I have been able to take as part of my major, most specifically from Dr. Suda Ishida and Dr. Trevor Maine have been formative to my skills and identity as a journalist. Both have passed down knowledge to me about journalism and the world that have shaped me as a writer and more importantly as a human,” Benda said.

The Oracle has been published by Hamline students since 1888 and is the oldest student newspaper in Minnesota. The paper is funded through the university’s Student Media Board. 

Hamline congratulates the Oracle staff on their continued excellence!