Arizona State University journalism students won eight professional awards and three student awards in the 2016 Arizona Press Club competition.
Last year was the first time in the organization’s 90-plus-year history that students won in a professional category. This year’s performance far surpassed that, with students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication winning eight professional awards, including three first-place honors.
Cronkite students took first in the small-circulation categories of Community Government Reporting, Community Health Reporting and Community Sports Reporting for stories published by Cronkite News, the news division of Arizona PBS. They also won two second-place and two third-place awards as well as an honorable mention in professional categories.
In the student contest, Cronkite News picked up the top honor in Student News Reporting. The Downtown Devil, an online publication focused on Phoenix and the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus, won two second-place awards, one in Student News Reporting and the other in Student Features Reporting.
“It’s a tremendous achievement for our students to be recognized alongside some of the top professional journalists in the state,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “Even more important is the fact that Cronkite News students, under the direction of our faculty, uncovered stories that point out critical issues to our state.”
The award-winning stories included coverage of Native American issues, health and wellness as well as water rights. Other stories tackled issues related to heroin addiction, building on a student-produced documentary on heroin that reached more than 1 million Arizonans last year. That documentary took first in the 2015 Video Storytelling category, marking the first time college students had won against professionals in the Arizona Press Club Awards.
The Arizona Press Club is a nonprofit organization of professional reporters, editors, photographers and designers from publications across the state. Its goal is to promote excellence in journalism through the annual contest, training seminars, scholarships and networking events.
The complete list of Cronkite’s Arizona Press Club winners:
Community Government Reporting
First place: Kristen Hwang, “Series on Tribal Remains,” Cronkite News
Community Health Reporting
First place: Jessica Boehm, “Vaccine Injury Fund Tops $3.5 Billion as Patients Fight for Payments” and related stories, Cronkite News
Second place: Danielle Grobmeier, “Yuma’s Heroin Problem Is Persistent and Visible,” Cronkite News
Community Sports Feature Reporting
First place: Chris Wimmer, “Basketball at Breakneck Pace a Way of Life in the Navajo Reservation,” Cronkite News
Community Environmental/Science Reporting
Second place: Kristen Hwang, “Thicker Than Water: Town of Williams Confronts Drought,” Cronkite News
Community Business Reporting
Third place: Jason Axelrod, “Chandler Pharmaceutical Company Sees Rapid Financial Gains, But Faces Scrutiny,” Cronkite News
Statewide Government Reporting
Third place: Kristen Hwang, series on tribal remains, Cronkite News
Community Human Interest Writing
Honorable mention: Sean Logan, “For One Couple, Staying Sober Is the Key to Their Relationship,” Cronkite News
Student News Reporting
First place: Amelia Goe, “Inspectors Find Dead Rodent, Undated Food at Cactus League Ballpark Eateries,” Cronkite News
Second place: Travis Arbon, Rachael Bouley, Sarah Jarvis and Courtney Pedroza, downtown Phoenix development stories, Downtown Devil
Student Features Reporting
Second place: Alexandra Scoville, “A History of Okilly Dokilly,” Downtown Devil
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