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Cronkite students dominate regional SPJ awards

March 30, 2009

For the ninth consecutive year, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University dominated the Society of Professional Journalists' regional student awards competition.

Cronkite students captured 39 awards – almost four times the number won by the second-place school.

The Region 11 SPJ Mark of Excellence competition honors the best student work in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and the Mariana Islands. The Cronkite School has taken first place in the region every year since 2000.

This year’s Cronkite awards included 15 first-place honors in print, radio, television and online categories. The first-place winners will go on to the national SPJ awards competition, which the Cronkite School also has dominated, winning more national SPJ awards than any other school in the country for the past three years.

Cronkite students swept two categories – Online Opinion and Commentary and TV Feature Photography – in this year’s regional awards.

“Our students continue to amaze us with their performance in the SPJ awards and other regional and national competitions,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “We’re very proud of them.”

For the second year in a row, Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced television newscast, was named Best TV Newscast in the Region 11 competition.

The Cronkite Zine, the school’s online student magazine, was named Best All-Around Online Student Publication, and the ASU Web Devil, the online branch of The State Press, ASU’s independent student newspaper, was named Best Affiliated Web Site.

The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Arizona came in second and third, respectively, in the regional competition.

Students will accept their awards at a ceremony April 4 during the Region 11 SPJ conference, which is being held at the Cronkite School in downtown Phoenix.

Below is the complete list of 2008 Cronkite regional winners:


Radio Feature
First: Colton Shone, “Tattoo”

Radio Sports Reporting
Second: Dana Granillo, “Ticket Scalping”

Television Breaking News Reporting
Second: Emily Graham, “Los Angeles Gang Bust”
Third: Jeff Skrzypek, “Immigrants Found”

Television General News Reporting
Second: Emily Graham, “McCain’s Final Rally”

Television Feature
First: Amber Dixon, “Dairy in the City”
Second: Jeff Skrzypek, “Mobile Doctor”

Television In-Depth Reporting
First: Amanda Soares, “Children of the Borderlands”
Second: Michelle Ashworth, “Teen Prostitution”

Television News Photography
Second: Michelle Ashworth, “Teen Prostitution”

Television Feature Photography
First: Amber Dixon, “Dairy in the City”
Second: Liz McKernan, “Musical Peers”
Third: Amber Dixon, “Special Needs/Young Adults”

Television Sports Photography
First: Michael Seiden, “Fighting for Redemption”
Second: Matt Pagel, “ASU Wrestling”

Television Newscast
First: Staff, Cronkite NewsWatch


Online News Reporting
First: Allison Denny, Matthew Burrows and Michael Shawn Tucker, “ASU Crime”
Third, Monique DeVoe, Jeremy Alm, Shea Drefs and Kim Foley, “ASU Students Face Economic Hard Times”

Online Feature Reporting
First: Ryan Kost, “U.S. Children Stuck in Mexican Orphanages”
Second: Keridwen Cornelius and Jillian Sloan, “Diepsloot: A Township”

Online In-Depth Reporting
First: JMC 470 and JMC 494, “Divided Families”
Second: Ryan Kost and Jourdan Rassás, “Defining Change”

Online Sports Reporting
Second: Andrew Pentis, “Small Town Transfer Finding Success”

Online Opinion and Commentary
First: Jillian Sloan, “Quiet Despair”
Second: Joshua Schoonover, “It’s the People”
Third: Daniel O’Connor, “The Dark Side”

Best Affiliated Web Site
First: Staff, the ASU Web Devil

Best All-Around Online Student Publication
First: Staff, Cronkite Zine


General News Reporting
Third: Matt Culbertson, "Justice Served 30 Years Later"

In-Depth Reporting
Third: W.J. Hennigan, “Last Resort”

Sports Writing
Second: Andrew Pentis, “Letting Go of It All”

Editorial Cartooning
First: Joseph Ward, cartoon collection

General Column Writing
First: Christopher Ogino, column collection

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
Second: Staff, The State Press

Non-Fiction Article
Third: Ryan Kost, “Border Orphans”

Best Student Magazine
Second: Staff, “Divided Families”
Third: Staff, “Health E”

General News Photography
First: Deanna Dent, “Border Orphans”

Sports Photography
Second: Matt Pavelek, “ASU on Wrong Side of Saturday Night Surprise”