Sunshine State Awards honor Florida journalists

The Society of Professional Journalists held its annual Sunshine State Awards this past Saturday, awarding writers, photographers and others from across Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The ceremony was held at the Nova Southeastern University Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale and included members of other journalistic organizations such as National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists and The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

Within the college section of the awards, the University of Florida’s publication, Fresh Take Florida, the University of Miami’s The Miami Hurricane and Florida International University collected the most wins.

Florida International University’s student media won 19 awards collectively. PantherNOW, FIU’s student-run newspaper, won awards such as Best Student Publication and Best Website, among many others. Caplin News, FIU’s student-produced and faculty-directed news site, also competed and won awards such as Best Profile.

The awards are listed below:


  • Best Student Publication, 1st place, Fall Print Edition
  • Best Broadcast Outlet, 1st place, The Roar
  • Best Website , 1st place
  • Best News Photo, 1st place, Julian Davis, FIU’s annual Walk on Water
  • Best Review, 2nd place, Natalie La Roche, FIU Theater’s Blazing Production of “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Best Sports Story, 1st place, Jonathan Mayer, From JUCO Transfer to FIU Panther: The Story of Tyrese Chambers
  • Best Front Page Design, 2nd place, Front Page September 2021
  • Best Inside Page Design, 3rd place, Diego Diaz & Michael McEwen, COVID-19 in the Americas
  • Best Video, 2nd place, Valentina Palm, Hundreds of Maskless Students Crowd Greek Life Party
  • Best Sports Photo, 3rd place, Liam Rooney, The FIU’s Men’s Soccer team celebrates
  • Best Multimedia Feature, 1st place, Jordan Coll, Remembering the Life of Jerry Wright
  • Best Coverage of LGBT Issues, 3rd Place: PantherNOW – Jesse Fraga, Transgender Military Ban Repeal Saved an FIU Student’s Dreams

Caplin News

Associate Editor

Sofia Zuñiga is a Digital Journalism student, completing a minor in Social Media and E-Marketing Analytics, and a certificate in Queer Studies. Currently, she is an NBCU DEI fellow, with an interest in LGBTQ topics and social issues.