Story AND Newsmaker of the Year: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

The Iranian president was so important, he won two categories.

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Because this contest was apparently terribly designed, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been crowned both story and newsmaker of 2007. Oops! Congrats, though, to Mahmoud, who was unable to accept his award in person.

So what was the big deal again? A quick recap of what happened: Ahmadinejad is invited to speak at Columbia University. Many, many people don't like it. He arrives. Protesters arrive. The media arrives. Circus commences. Circus leaves. Students left to pick up the pieces.

With all the hoopla, what's a student journalist to do when competing for face time with the likes of the New York Times and even U.S.News & World Report? If you're Columbia's Bwog blog, you send reporters into the fray and they text message like crazy.

With limited press access, the Bwog's enterprising correspondents watched the Iranian president's speech with the masses and texted an editor on the outside, who was busy compiling and blogging away, says then coeditor Katie Reedy. The strategy worked: Site traffic almost doubled from the weeks preceding the big event, and by preparing ahead of time for the "[expletive] show," they were able to ensure that their site never crashed. "It was quite the spectacle."