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Cronkite School outperforms all other schools in National SPJ Awards

May 09, 2011

For an unprecedented sixth consecutive year, students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication outperformed all other schools in the Society of Professional Journalists’ prestigious Mark of Excellence national awards competition.

The Arizona State University students won a total of five awards: four first-place awards and one national finalist award. The University of North Carolina had four first-place awards while the University of Montana had one first-place award and four national finalists.

Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s 30-minute nightly newscast that airs across the state on Arizona PBS, was named the nation’s best collegiate newscast.

Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan applauded the award-winning students and the school’s remarkable six-year record.

“It’s the ideal combination,” Callahan said. “Smart, focused and tremendously talented students working side-by-side in professional newsroom settings with dedicated journalism faculty with decades of national news experience. We couldn’t be more proud of our students and their faculty mentors, and applaud their unprecedented achievements.”

The winners were among students nationwide who submitted almost 4,000 entries. The awards will be presented Sept. 25-27 at the annual national SPJ conference in New Orleans.

Students who advanced to the national awards first attained honors in the regional competition. Last week it was announced that the Cronkite School took first place in the SPJ regional awards for the 11th consecutive year, taking home 39 awards – double the number of the closest runner up school.

UCLA finished second with 17 awards, followed by the University of California at Berkeley (12), California State University-Northridge (9), the University of Arizona (7) and the University of Southern California (5).

The Cronkite national winners were as follows:

National Winners

Best TV Newscast:
Cronkite NewsWatch

TV Breaking News:
Staff, Cronkite NewsWatch, Cronkite NewsWatch: Winter Storm Special Report

TV News Photography:
David Gonzalez, “Please Come to Mexico”

TV Feature Photography:
Natalie Podgorski, “Garage Boxing”

National Finalists

Feature Writing:
Grant Martin, “As Climate Warms, Deserts, Forests, Cities Face Uncertain Futures”