Natasha Veeser
William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications

Journalism students win KPA, broadcasting awards

Thu, 03/28/2013

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas School of Journalism and Mass Communications students received 30 awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, nine students were named finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists Region 7 Mark of Excellence Awards, and two students received first place in the Kansas Press Association awards.

Ian Cummings and Chris Hong won first place for best news story in the Over 15,000 circulation category of the KPA awards for their story, “Money, murder and prison: The rise and fall of a drug boss,” featured in 913, a publication distributed by the Kansas City Star. The story began as an independent student project directed by journalism associate professor Scott Reinardy’s class in fall 2011, and it was published in June 2012.

“Ian and Chris wanted to tell a story that unknowingly affects many communities. They wanted to show that big-time drug dealing isn't happening somewhere else; it's happening in our own back yard,” Reinardy said. “Their commitment to the story was unprecedented in my dozen years of working with college journalists. Winning the award on behalf of the Kansas City Star is evidence of the kind of journalism KU students can achieve.”

Cummings, who now works for the Lawrence Journal-World, has turned the story into his thesis project and is compiling an e-book. Hong accepted a job with the Wilkes-Barre Citizen’s Voice shortly after completing an internship at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the summer.

The Society of Professional Journalists also honored nine KU students for their work. The following entries have been selected to receive Regional Mark of Excellence Awards:

  • Christopher Hong/Ian Cummings (Category Feature Writing, Large) The Kansas City Star’s 913 Edition, “Money, murder and prison: The rise and fall of a drug boss.”
  • Hannah Wise (Feature Writing, Large) The Kansas City Star’s 913 Edition, “Different, but really the same.”
  • Rachel Salyer (General News reporting, Large) The University Daily Kansan, “Burglaries on the rise in Lawrence.”
  • Isaac Gwin (Online In-Depth Reporting, Large), “Almost American: A Young Immigrant’s Struggle to Succeed.”
  • Jayson Jenks (Online Sports Reporting, Large), “The Rules of the Game: Bill Self, Kansas, and basketball history.”
  • Mike Vernon (Sports Column Writing, Large) University Daily Kansan, Sports Columns.
  • Mike Vernon (Sports Writing, Large) The Topeka Capital-Journal, “KU’s Diamond Dixon ready for Olympic debut: Jayhawk competes Friday on US women’s 4x400 relay.”
  • Claire McInerny (Radio Feature) KJHK 90.7, “The PBR book club.”
  • Mollie Pointer (Radio News Reporting) KJHK 90.7, “Elections on the Syllabus.”

The students will be honored April 26-28 at the Region 5&7 Spring Conference in St. Louis, where the actual place awarded for each student’s submission will be announced.

The Kansas Association of Broadcasters has also honored KU students with 30 awards:

  • Station website: 1st place: Bren Steward, Matt Gasper, Julianna Tidwell, Laura Sather (TV.KU.EDU)
  • Station Website: 2nd place: Michael Engelken, Marc Schroeder, Claire McInerny (KJHK’s in-studio archive)

Graduate radio:

  • Sports play-by-play, Temple vs. KU: 1st Place: Pete Knutson (KJHK)

Graduate TV:

  • Hard News package: 1st place: Charlene Chen ("Gun sales soar under Obama’s watch") (KUJH)
  • Enterprise News Package: 1st place: Charlene Chen ("Volunteer photographer helps shelter dogs find new homes") (KUJH)
  • Complete News Feature: 1st place: Charlene Chen ("Experts warn against caffeinated energy drinks") (KUJH)
  • Public Affairs Program: Honorable Mention: Kaitlin Brennan, Claire McInerny, Sara Sneath, The KJHK News Staff – Ad Astra Radio: The KJHK Live Election Special) (KJHK)
  • Hard News Package: 1st Place: Kaitlin Brennan ("Back to the bulge") (KJHK)
  • Enterprise News Package: 1st place: Scott Ross ("Vinyl revival")  (KJHK)
  • Enterprise News Package: 2nd place: Sara Sneath ("Pantologist") (KJHK)
  • Enterprise News Package: 3rd place: Claire McInerny ("The PBR Book Club") (KJHK)
  • Complete News Coverage: 1st place: Scott Ross ("Open for Debate") (KJHK)
  • Complete News Coverage: 2nd place: Justin Wilson ("20 Something and Homesteading") (KJHK)
  • Complete News Coverage: Honorable Mention: Mollie Pointer ("Campaigns in the Curriculum") (KJHK)
  • Complete Sports Feature: 1st place: Pat Strathman (Bob Fisher) (KJHK)
  • Complete Sports Feature: 2nd place: Jonas Nordman, Pat Strathman, Pete Knutson, Molly Ryan (Mait Tait Interview) (KJHK)
  • Complete Sports Feature: Honorable Mention: Alex Gold, Eric Davis, Farzin Vousoughian (Matt Miller Interview) (KJHK)
  • Sports Play-by-Play: 1st place: Aaron Berlin (Aaron Berlin PxP) (KJHK)
  • Entertainment Program: 1st place: Michael Engelken, Kaitlin Brennan (Live @KJHK) (KJHK)
  • Entertainment Program: Honorable Mention: Aaron Berlin (Kansas vs. Belmont Pregame Show (KJHK)
  • Station website: 1st place: Marc Schroeder, Claire McInerny, Lindsay Schell (KJHK)
  • Station Website: Honorable Mention: Marc Schroeder (KJHK)

Undergraduate TV

  • 60 Second Commercial, PSA: 1st place: Isaac Gwin ("The Clinic") (KUJH)
  • Complete Live Newscast: 1st place: Julianna Tidwell, Mallory Kaufman, Sabrina Ahmed, Matt Gasper (April 18, 2012) (KUJH)
  • Complete Live Newscast: 2nd place: Brittany Clampitt, Julianna Tidwell, Bren Steward (Dec. 6, 2012) (KUJH)
  • Hard News Package: 1st place: Isaac Gwin ("Kansas bill would allow concealed carry at KU") (KUJH)
  • Enterprise News Package: 1st place: Jonathan Cooper ("Kosher meals") (KUJH)
  • Complete Sports Feature: Honorable Mention: Matt Gasper ("Kansas Relays downtown shot put") (KUJH)
  • Sportscast: Honorable Mention: Daren Dunn (Dec. 4, 2012) (KUJH)
  • Documentary: 1st place: Isaac Gwin ("Almost American") (KUJH)

Journalism Dean Ann Brill says the awards show the dedication and level of quality of the students at the journalism school.

“Our students consistently show they are capable of creating quality journalism time and time again,” Brill said. “This quality is not only reinforced by the recent awards our students have won, but more importantly by the continued work they do as student journalists every day.”

For more information on the awards mentioned above, or the KU School of Journalism, contact Natasha Veeser or visit the school website.

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