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Students top SPJ awards for fourth consecutive year

May 18, 2009

For a remarkable fourth consecutive year, students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University won more awards than any other school in the country in the highly competitive Society of Professional Journalists' intercollegiate news contest.

Cronkite students dominated the 2008 Mark of Excellence competition with 10 awards. The University of Maryland finished second with seven awards, followed by Minnesota State University and the University of North Carolina and with six each.

Cronkite students took five first-places awards – more than any other school in the country – and were national finalists in five other categories encompassing broadcast, online and print journalism.

“Our Cronkite students are producing some of the nation’s best college journalism across all media platforms,” said Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan. “And they are performing at the highest levels year after year. We couldn’t be prouder of them.”

SPJ received more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories. Winners in each category from SPJ’s 12 regions competed in the national contest. Cronkite students dominated Region 11 with 39 awards, including 15 first-place winners.

"These Mark of Excellence Awards winners are some of the best journalists coming out of colleges today,” said Neil Ralston, SPJ’s vice president for campus chapter affairs. “I believe they represent a lot of hope for the future of journalism in America, and SPJ is honored to recognize them for their excellent work."

The national winners and finalists from the Cronkite School include:

2008 National Winners:

All-Around Independent Online Student Publication
Cronkite Depth Reporting and Online Media classes for “Cronkite Zine”

General News Photography
Deanna Dent, “Border Orphans”

Online Feature Reporting
Ryan Kost, “U.S. Children Stuck in Mexican Orphanages”

Online In-Depth Reporting
Cronkite Depth Reporting and Online Media classes, “Divided Families”

Television Feature Photography
Amber Dixon, “Dairy in the City”

2008 Finalists:

Best Affiliated Web Site
The State Press and ASU Web Devil

Online News Reporting
Alison Denny, Matthew Burrows and Michael Shawn Tucker, “ASU Crime”

Television Feature
Amber Dixon, “Dairy in the City”

Television In-Depth Reporting
Amanda Soares, “Children of the Borderlands”

Television Sports Photography
Michael Seiden, “Fighting for Redemption”

The student journalists will be recognized Aug. 28 at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon at the 2009 SPJ national convention in Indianapolis.