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Broadcast Students Second in Country

March 11, 2009

Students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University finished second in the nation in the broadcast news portion of the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards program.

The Cronkite School has finished in the top six in the broadcast competition every year for the past six years, including three first-place finishes.

This year’s broadcast winners are Liz McKernan and Amber Dixon in television news; Joe “JW” Cox and Colton Shone in radio features; and Jill Galus and Elena Difiore in radio news.

Five of the students qualified to participate in a national broadcast championship in San Francisco in June sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The students — McKernan, Dixon, Cox, Shone and Galus — will each produce two more stories, and then judges will evaluate their portfolios to determine who will compete in the national championships. The Cronkite School has more students in contention for the championships than any other school in the country.

“Our broadcast students have consistently led the way in the Hearst Awards, which is arguably the toughest college journalism competition in the country,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “When they graduate, we know that they will go on to become leaders in the industry as well.”

Syracuse University finished first in this year’s broadcast competition, followed by ASU, the University of North Carolina, University of Southern California, University of Florida, Penn State University and University of Montana (6th- place tie), Elon University, University of Nebraska and Hofstra University.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program consists of a series of monthly competitions in broadcast news, writing, photojournalism and multimedia. The 2008-09 finalists in writing, photojournalism and multimedia will be announced later this spring.

The program, administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, is commonly referred to as the Pulitzers of college journalism. Winners are selected from among hundreds of entries from students in accredited journalism schools around the country and receive scholarships.

The following is a complete listing of Cronkite broadcast winners for the year:

Television Feature Reporting
Liz McKernan, Phoenix, first

Television News Reporting

Amber Dixon, Phoenix, fifth

Radio Feature Reporting

Joe “JW” Cox, Hemet, Calif., second
Colton Shone, Phoenix, fourth

Radio News Reporting

Jill Galus, Portage, Mich., fifth
Elena Difiore, Tempe, Ariz., sixth