Jaliah Robinson is S.C. Collegiate Journalist of Year

Mar 11, 2022

Jaliah Robinson receives her award at the S.C. Press Association meeting in Columbia. With her are Lee Harter of Claflin and Jen Madden of the SCPA.


The coronavirus pandemic changed much on college campuses. Some students adapted well and even excelled. One is Jaliah Robinson, editor of The Panther, Claflin University’s student newspaper

On Friday, Robinson’s work during 2021 was recognized with her receiving the South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Division’s highest individual honor, S.C. Collegiate Journalist of the Year for colleges and universities with under 5,000 enrollment. Robinson becomes the sixth Panther journalist to win the award in the past eight years, an unprecedented run.

During 2021, Robinson, from Little River, put her skills to good use on a de facto COVID beat, as well as in producing other work for The Panther and outlets such as Edisto River Review, Oprah Daily and Woman’s Day.

And the collegiate journalistic efforts by the junior mass communications major and Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College student with a 4.0 GPR went even further:

  • Editorial intern, Claflin October 2019-May 2021, In Touch, In Tune, In Vision – Honors College Newsletter. Editor. Responsible for writing content delivered to over 250 Honors College scholars.
  • Freelance journalist, Hearst Magazine, January-June 2021. Interviewed a community elder about life experiences and lessons for the Black History Month project, “Project Tell Me.”
  • Culture Magazine editor, Claflin August 2021-present. Assign, edit, format and create content for Claflin’s Mass Communications Department magazine.
  • Member: National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).
  • Student Government Association, social media specialist, Claflin 2021-22. Communicate the messages and goals of SGA to the student body through social media posts, flyers, slogans and monthly reports.

Judges praised the Panther editor:

“Robinson takes First Place for the quality, quantity and diversity of work samples entered in this portfolio. She tackled hard news -- public safety matters, policing, and growth and development issues on campus and in her community. She wrote several articles about the impact of COVID-19 on everything from homecoming to the return to on-campus learning.

“Robinson is the embodiment of a good community news reporter. In the nomination, she said she considers herself a bridge between her peers and situations that affect us. …

“She also showcased strong feature writing skills through profiles … Judges also enjoyed reading her poetry, fiction and non-fiction creative writing samples.

“Additionally, Robinson is recognized for her academic excellence, heart for community service and involvement on campus. “

After Claflin, Robinson plans to pursue a master’s in publishing at Boston University and then a career as a magazine or book editor.

The other Claflin journalists winning the award are:

  • 2020 -- Marcus Hamilton
  • 2018 – Olanma Hazel Mang
  • 2017 – Bradley Harris
  • 2015 – Andres Waters
  • 2014 – Princess Williams
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