Skip to main content

Cronkite students take 1st in SPJ Region 11 awards

May 02, 2011

For the 11th consecutive year, students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University took first place in the regional Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence awards.

The Cronkite School won a total of 39 awards, more than double the amount won by the next closest 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 Region 11 SPJ Mark of Excellence contest recognizes the best student journalism in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and the Mariana Islands.

This year’s awards included 14 first-place honors across the contest’s print, radio, television and online contest categories. The first-place-winning stories and publications will compete with other regional first-place winners in the national SPJ contest.

Cronkite students scored first place sweeps in all nine TV News Categories: Best All-around Newscast, TV Breaking News Reporting, TV In-Depth Reporting, TV General News Reporting, TV Feature Reporting, TV Sports Reporting, TV News Photography, TV Feature Photography and TV Sports Photography.

They scored complete sweeps (taking the first-, second- and third-place prizes) in six of the eight individual TV categories: TV General News Reporting, TV Feature Reporting, TV Sports Reporting, TV News Photography, TV Feature Photography and TV Sports Photography.

The school took home several awards for its news products: Cronkite NewsWatch, the school's live, 30-minute, student-produced newscast airing on Arizona PBS four nights a week to 1.2 million households, was named Best All-Around Television Newscast among four-year universities.

The Downtown Devil was named Best Independent Online Student Publication and another publication, The State Press, the publication of Student Media at ASU, was named second for Best Affiliated Web Site.

Cronkite students routinely dominate the SPJ regional and national competitions and other prestigious contests and have won more than 200 SPJ regional awards in the last five years.

Last year, they also came in first in the national SPJ awards for the fifth consecutive year and second in the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards.

Cronkite has finished first or second in five of the past six years in that competition, the best performance by any journalism school in the nation.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Cronkite won first in the Broadcast Education Association awards, taking home 19 student awards, six of those being first places.

In the previous school year, students received more than 130 awards in total. These included an Edward R. Murrow Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Award.

Six Cronkite students attended the awards ceremony in San Diego at the end of April.

Broadcast Awards

Best All-Around Television Newscast        

First: Cronkite NewsWatch Staff,  “Cronkite NewsWatch”

Television Breaking News Reporting         

First: Cronkite News Staff, “Cronkite NewsWatch: Winter Storm Special Report”

Television Breaking News Reporting         

Third: Heather Turner, “Teen Shot”

Television Feature Photography     

First: Natalie Podgorski, “Garage Boxing”

Television Feature Photography     

Second: Lindsey Reiser, “Racetrack Minister”

Television Feature Photography     

Third: Tara Prindiville, “Prescribed Burns”

Television Feature    

First: Lindsey Reiser, “Racetrack Minister”

Television Feature    

Second: Natalie Podgorski, “Garage Boxing”

Television Feature    

Third: Natalie Podgorski, “Toy Maker”

Television General News Reporting

First: Toby Phillips, “Rocky Point”

Television General News Reporting

Second: David Gonzalez, “Travel Warnings Affect Mexican Border Businesses”

Television General News Reporting           

Third: Heather Turner, “Child Care Fees”

Television In-Depth Reporting       

First: Courtney Godfrey, “Superior Mining Controversy”

Television In-Depth Reporting       

Third: Cronkite News Staff, “Cronkite NewsWatch: SB 1070 Continuing Coverage”

Television News Photography         

First: David Gonzalez, “Please Come to Mexico!”

Television News Photography         

Second: Heather Turner, “Child Care Fees”

Television News Photography         

Third: David Gonzalez, “Wildlife Refuge Cleanup”

Television Sports Photography       

First: Tom Miller, “ASU Hockey/SD101”

Television Sports Photography       

Second: Siera Lambrecht, “Ice Fishing”

Television Sports Photography       

Third: Jacob Fadden, “Northland Prep Academy”

Television Sports Reporting            

First: Siera Lambrecht, “Ice Fishing”

Television Sports Reporting            

Second: Cameron Gidari, “Sky Diving”

Television Sports Reporting            

Third: Cameron Gidari, “MMA Bill”

Radio Feature           

First: John LaBarbera, “DBacks National Anthem Auditions”

Radio In-Depth Reporting

Third: Gardenia Coleman, “Finding My Shoes”

Online Awards

Best Affiliated Website      

Second: State Press Staff, “ Entry for Best Affiliated Web Site”

Best Independent Online Student Publication       

First: Downtown Devil Staff, “Downtown Devil”

Online Feature Reporting   

First: Derek Cooley, “Speaking in Code: Profiles of the Navajo Code Talkers”

Online In-Depth Reporting

Second: Rebekah Zemansky & Lisa Ruhl, “Dealing with the Dead”

Online In-Depth Reporting

Third: News21 Staff, “The Women”

Online News Reporting       

Second: Tessa Muggeridge, “Driving While Tired: Safety officials are Slow to React to Operator Fatigue”

Online News Reporting       

Third: Cronkite News Staff, “Live Election Coverage”

Online Opinion & Commentary     

First: Janice Vega, “Janice Vega Columns”

Print Awards

Breaking News Reporting   

Second: Rheyanne Weaver, “Lake Drain”

Feature Writing        

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

Feature Writing        

Second: Rebekah Zemansky, “Trapped in Violence: Undocumented Abuse Victims Face Hurdles”

General Column Writing    

Third: Andrew Hedlund, “Andrew Hedlund Column Writing”

In-Depth Reporting

Third: Kristena Hansen & Ryan Van Zelzer, “Most Frequent Arizona Lottery Players a Little Older, a Little Wealthier”

Sports Writing          

Second: Gina Mizell, “5 Years Later, Love Still Heart of ASU Athletics”