Frequent flyers are not the only ones recognizing Plattsburgh State’s prominent student-run magazine.
Plattsburgh State magazine DoNorth recently won an All-American award for its journalistic excellence for the third time in the six issues the magazine has published.
PSUC Assistant Professor of Journalism and Public Relations Luke Cyphers began advising the magazine three years ago and DoNorth has already had success. DoNorth is a magazine aimed at travelers from not only Plattsburgh, but Montreal and Boston as well. It highlights activities and great restaurants for readers while traveling to and from the North Country.
DoNorth is the official in-flight publication of commuter airline Pen Air. The magazine is the only one of its kind on the PSUC campus and in the Adirondack Coast that is written by only students. It includes Sudoku puzzles, word searches and a maze for readers to do while flying.
“When I had taken some flights with Pen Air, I noticed they didn’t have anything in the back of the seats, so we asked if we could distribute DoNorth on their flights and they said, ‘Sure,’” Cyphers said. “It’s a really helpful thing for the students, and it makes it more real for them.”
Cyphers said the magazine helps share information about the surrounding area of Plattsburgh.
“DoNorth is a tourism publication, so they’re not talking about SUNY Plattsburgh. They are talking about the whole region around,” Cyphers said.
A written critique from the Associated Collegiate Press said the magazine “has a unique niche.”
“The magazine offers so much more than the standard ‘Eat this, do that’ features,” the critique said. “The publication makes incredible use of photography to both convey meaning and to establish vivid pieces of art.”
Cyphers said a student magazine has to be in the top 20 percent ranking to qualify for the All-American award, and only 15 to 20 percent of the student-run magazines from colleges nationwide make it to that top slot. He said there is a lot of competition with schools such as UCLA, University of Miami, and Kent State University, which also have beautiful, well-designed magazines.
The magazine’s open air section reports outdoor activities like boating and canoeing. There are other section for arts, food and history, as well.
“The North Country is a really great area for historical tourism,” Cyphers said. “There was a piece in one of the magazines on the Revolutionary War, and prior to that, the Cold War. In our upcoming issue there’s a piece on the Underground Railroad.”
DoNorth former Art Director and PSUC journalism and graphic design major Nelly Gomez said she is excited about the magazine’s victory. She said her involvement with DoNorth will look good on her resume. She said her favorite part of the winning issue was the photo essay on page 42 of the Winter/Spring 2016 issue that showcased the Montreal Botanical Gardens.
“The magazine doesn’t cater to students, but I feel like if students could access it, they would like it,” Gomez said. “Everyone thinks there’s nothing to do up here, but if you read the magazine you’ll see there are so many things for students to do while they’re going to school here.”
Current DoNorth Editor-in-Chief and PSUC graphic design major Samantha Godino said being a part of an award-winning magazine is very exciting. She said that, when they won the award, she was the managing editor for that issue. Godino said she started out writing for the open air section of the magazine, and that is her favorite section of the magazine.
“I find the articles in that section to be the most appealing to me. I go hiking pretty often. I’ve been to Lion Mountain before, and one of the issues talks about Lion Mountain,” Godino said. “The last issue, we did a feature on the Montreal Botanical Gardens, and I’ve been there before, so that was cool.”
Cyphers said he enjoys seeing student collaboration.
“DoNorth is a really unique publication. It’s gratifying to see students put together a great piece,” Cyphers said. “It’s even more gratifying to see the students get recognized for it.”
Email Markiesha Thompson at markiesha.thompson@ cardinalpointsonline.com