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ASU Cronkite School wins top honors at Hearst Journalism Awards

Close-up of the Hearst Award, a shiny, circular medallian featuring the bust of William Randolph Hearst.
August 01, 2022

Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication placed third overall in the 2021–22 Hearst Journalism Awards program and scored in the top five in writing, photojournalism and television categories.

The program, often referred to as the Pulitzers of college journalism, holds monthly contests for writing, audio, television, photojournalism and multimedia reporting, culminating with a national championship competition in those categories in late spring. 

Journalism schools that win top honors receive prize money while winning students are awarded scholarships.

In the overall category, the top three schools were the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Florida and Arizona State University. 

ASU also scored third place for photojournalism, fourth in the writing category, fourth for audio and television, and eighth for multimedia. 

After the monthly contests, Cronkite School student Alberto Mariani and recent graduate Kiera Riley were selected to compete in the 2022 Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship, during which winners of the individual competitions faced off in a live competition that consisted of reporting, writing and photographing stories.

Mariani placed third in the Photojournalism championship and was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a Hearst Medallion. He also received an additional $1,000 scholarship after receiving Best Portfolio from the semifinals. 

Mariani previously placed first in the Photojournalism I category for news and features in the monthly competition. 

“Being able to participate in the Hearst Awards National Competition was an incredible experience, and to win something at the end of it made it even more special. However, the most enriching part of the championship was meeting and hanging out with five other extremely talented photographers, as well as the opportunity to talk to and share ideas with some of the most capable editors and professionals in the industry,” Mariani said.

Riley received a $1,500 scholarship after being named a finalist in the Writing category. She also received an additional $1,000 after her story was named Article of the Year. Riley placed second in the monthly competition for the Features category for her story “Dubbing ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ into Navajo Language”  before being selected for the championship.

“Being a Hearst finalist was the highlight of my college career. I had the privilege of meeting and learning from some of the most talented journalists in the field. It was such an honor,” Riley said. 

Students who placed in the monthly competitions are as follows:

Photojournalism I – News and Features 

  • 1st: Alberto Mariani, Photo Collection, Cronkite News.
  • 13th: Samantha Chow, Photo Collection, Cronkite News.


Photojournalism II – Picture Story/Series

Exploratory Writing

Television II – News


Multimedia Narrative Video Storytelling

Multimedia Narrative Video Storytelling

Personality/Profile Writing

Audio News/Features

Television Features

Multimedia Digital News/Enterprise Story

Multimedia Innovative Storytelling and Audience Engagement

Story written by Connor Fries

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