LEAKESVILLE, Miss. (WKRG) – A Leakesville native and her team won several state awards for the 2023 college journalism contest.

Taylor Garretson, a freshman journalism major at Jones College, is a member of the school’s Radionian staff. The team earned five first place awards in the Better Newspaper Media Contest Community College Division awards, hosted by the Mississippi Press Association.

Garretson, of Leakesville, and Donovan Williams, of Ellisville, won first place for Best Use of Video. The entry was an interview of a student sharing her experience of living with Tourette syndrome. Judges called it a “well done interview to shed light on this often misunderstood condition”.

Other top winners from The Radionian included Bryce Dupree, of Raleigh, for Best General News Story, Megan Matthews, of Richton, for Best Sports Feature Story, Olivia Norwood, of Ellisville, for Best Feature Story and Montanah Middleton, of Mize, for Best Sports Photo.

Dupree won third place for Best General News Story, Middleton won second and third place for Best Feature Photo, and the staff won third place for Best Website.

The General Excellence Award, which is awarded to one university and one two-year college each year based on the number of points earned in each category, was tied in the two-year college category. The Radionian and Southwest Mississippi Community College’s The Pine Burr tied for first place.

The awards were part of the O.C. McDavid Student Journalism Summit, which included guest speakers attorney Haley Gregory, artist Candy Cain and media panelists Lyndy Berryhill with the Stone County Enterprise, Jackie Hampton with The Mississippi Link, Peter Imes with The Commercial Dispatch and Stephanie Patton with The Leland Progress.

The O.C. McDavid Memorial Fund, named after the former editor of the Jackson Daily News, is used to underwrite the cost of the conference to promote journalism education in the state.

Garretson is the 2023 Leakesville’s Miss Hospitality and produces videos highlighting small businesses in the town.