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Cronkite students dominate region, take home 51 SPJ Awards


April 20, 2008

For the eighth consecutive year, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication dominated the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional student competition.

Cronkite students won a remarkable 51 awards – nearly half of all the awards given in the Region 11 SPJ Mark of Excellence competition, which honors the best student work in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. Last year Cronkite students won the region with 35 awards.

Cronkite awards included 21 first-place honors across print, radio, television and online. All of the first-place winners will go on to the national SPJ awards competition, which the Cronkite School also has dominated the past two years, winning more awards than any other school in the country.

“Cronkite School students continue to set the bar for thoughtful, in-depth, highly professional journalism across all media platforms,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “It’s hard to describe how proud we are of these terrific students and the dedicated faculty members who mentor them to greatness.”

In this year’s Region 11 contest, Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced television newscast, was named Best TV Newscast, and broadcast students swept five television categories, taking first, second and third places in each.

In the online journalism competition, Cronkite students swept two categories, and the CronkiteZine, an online Web site that showcases student work, was named Best All-Around Independent Student Publication.

In the print competition, students took six first places in breaking news reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, sports writing, general column writing and news photography.

Students accepted their awards at a ceremony at the University of Arizona in Tucson earlier this month.


Cronkite student winners:

Television AwardsTelevision Newscast

First: Cronkite NewsWatch 2007

Breaking News Reporting

First: Erika Taillole, “Memorial Union Fire”

Third: Michelle Kyung Ashworth, “Obama Live”

General News Reporting

First: Elias Johnson, “Bayou Rebirth”

Second: Amanda Goodman, “Tent City”

In-Depth Reporting

First: Cronkite NewsWatch, “Memorial Union Fire”

Second: Ashley McNamee, “Polygamous Custody Battle”

Third: Amanda Goodman, “Busiest Border Crossing”

Feature Reporting

First: Anne McCloy, “Shrimp Farm”

Second: Hailey Frances, “Tombstone Walk Down”

Third: Jeff Skrzypek, “Revival of Records”

Sports Reporting

First: Evan Doherty, “Practice Squads”

Second: Molly O’Brien, “Rattlers Tryouts”

Third: Natalie Varty, “Hamilton High Football”

News Photography

First: Nikki Rowley, “Phoenix Graffiti”

Second: Eric Miller, “Bayou Rebirth”

Third: Eric Miller, “Tent City”

Feature Photography

First: Nikki Rowley, “Revival of Records”

Second: Anne McCloy, “Shrimp Farm”

Sports Photography

Second: Zack Strier, “Sun Dogs Hockey”

Third: Nikki Rowley, “Teen Racer” Radio AwardsFeature Reporting

First: Carolyn Carver, “Girl Scout Prison Program”

Second: Carolyn Carver, “Guatemalan Adoptions”

News Reporting

Third: Martha Castaneda, “Pit Bull Attack”

Print AwardsBreaking News Reporting

First: Sonu Munshi, “Sheriff Opens K-9’s Hot-Car Death Probe”

Second: Carolyn Carver, “Four Arrested in Death of Missing Girl”

General News Reporting

First: Ryan Kost, “State Tries to Treat Hospital Violence”

In-Depth Reporting

Third: Jonathan J. Cooper, “Nursing Arrears”

Feature Writing

First: Brent Ruffner, “Straddling Two Worlds”

Third: Eric Graf, “Classical Piano Sets Tone for Arizona School Superintendent”

Sports Writing

First: Christopher Drexel, “New Coach, New Era”

Third: Kyle Odegard, “Stuck in Neutral”

General Column Writing

First: Ray Ceo, Jr., selection of columns

Non-Fiction Article

Second: James Kindle, “The New Border Fence?”

News Photography

First: Deanna Dent, “Autism on the Rise”

Sports Photography

Second: Morgan Bellinger, “Territorial Cup Victory”

Best Student Magazine

Second: State Press Magazine

Online Awards:Best All-Around Independent Online Student Publication

First: Cronkitezine staff

News Reporting

First: MCO 598 Online Media, “Parking (Not) My Space”

Third: Jordan Jurkowitz & Katarina Kovacevic, “The New (And Improved) Glendale”

In-Depth Reporting

First: JMC 494 Advanced Online Media, “Galapagos”

Third: JMC 494 Advanced Online Media, “The Business of Death”

Feature Reporting

First: Chris Sheppard, “Baghdad or Bust”

Second: JMC 425 Online Media, “First Fridays”

Sports Reporting

First: Ryan Kost and Deanna Dent, “Anatomy of a Fighter”

Second: Christopher Drexel, “New Coach, New Era”

Third: Si Robins, “Hoop Dreams”

Opinion and Commentary

First: Cassandra Nicholson, “Intellitainment”

Second: Ryan Kost, “Telling Stories: A Writer’s Blog”

Third: Darin Trimillos, “West Coast Bias”

Best Affiliated Web Site

Third: ASU Web Devil