ASU Cronkite School continues dominance in national broadcast awards competition

woman speaking into microphone

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University has won more awards in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts competition than any other school in the country for the fifth year in a row.

Cronkite students collected a total of 14 awards, nearly twice as many as the second-place school. Students won in 10 different news, sports, video and documentary categories. This year’s competition received more than 1,350 student entries.

The awards include the association’s highest honor, a Best of Festival award, which went to Cooper Rummell for a KTAR radio report on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s threat to punish jail inmates who deface American flags painted on cell block walls. Rummell’s win marks the 12th consecutive year a Cronkite student’s work has been named Best of Festival.

Cronkite students also won two first-place awards in the competition. Nicholas Marek scored first in the television sports anchor category for his work on Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced television newscast that reaches 1.4 million households on Arizona PBS, four nights a week. Kristina Zverjako secured first place in the television hard news reporting category for a Cronkite NewsWatch story on immigration roadblocks for same-sex couples.

Caiti Currey won awards in three categories, the best record of any student in this year’s competition. Her wins included second place in the television news anchor category, third place in radio hard news reporting and an honorable mention in radio feature reporting. Other Cronkite students took awards in television hard news reporting, video editing and documentary film research.

“The sheer volume of awards speaks to the quality work of our students, as well as the breadth and depth of our program,” said Mark Lodato, Cronkite School assistant dean and news director. “With honors ranging across so many categories, we couldn’t be more proud of our students and the faculty who help them achieve so much success.”

The winners will be honored at the BEA’s annual convention in Las Vegas in April.

Established in 1955, the BEA is the professional association for professors, industry professionals and graduate students who are interested in teaching and research related to electronic media and multimedia enterprises.

The complete list of Cronkite winners include:

Best of Festival: Radio Hard News Reporting

“Maricopa County Jail Flags,” Cooper Rummell

First Place: Television Hard News Reporting

“Immigration Partner,” Kristina Zverjako

First Place: TV Sports Talent Anchor/Host

Nicholas Marek

Second Place: Television News Anchor

Caiti Currey

Second Place: TV Sports Talent Anchor/Host

Robby Baker

Third Place: Radio Hard News Reporting

“Playwords,” Caiti Currey

Excellence in Editing: Promotional Video 90 Seconds and Longer

“Experience Cronkite,” Kimberly Pestalozzi

Excellence in Research: Documentary Short Form Video

“Two Borders,” Alex Lancial, Tara Molina and Perla Farias

Honorable Mention: Documentary Long Form Video

“Blisters of a Butterfly,” Gabrielle Bizzarro and Bailey Frasier

Honorable Mention: Radio Feature Reporting

“YouTube Guru,” Caiti Currey

Honorable Mention: Radio Sports Story/Feature

“Men's Senior Baseball World Series,” Kerry Crowley

Honorable Mention: Television Hard News Reporting

“Online Sex Demand,” Vivian Padilla

Honorable Mention: Television News Anchor

Gabriela Rodiles

Honorable Mention: Television Weathercaster

Marissa Scott