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Cronkite School Wins 1st Place in Hearst Broadcast Competition

February 28, 2012

For the second time in three years, Arizona State University has won first place in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s prestigious intercollegiate broadcast competition.

Students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication earned the highest combined point total in the broadcast competition, which includes radio, TV news and TV feature reporting contests.

Senior Nathan O’Neal of Globe, Ariz., received first prize in the TV news competition for his stories about the prevalence of HIV on the Navajo reservation and how recent federal food-safety legislation affects Arizona’s small farms. O’Neal’s stories were reported for Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced live newscast that airs four nights a week on Arizona PBS.

O’Neal earned a $2,600 scholarship and qualified for the semifinal round of the TV competition. ASU will receive a matching grant.

Also placing in the TV news competition was senior Ryan Haarer of Carlsbad, Calif., who won sixth place for his Cronkite NewsWatch stories on the growing buffalo population at the Grand Canyon and how Alabama’s new immigration law compares to Arizona’s recently enacted immigration legislation.

Senior Dan Neligh of Lakewood, Colo., won fourth place in the Hearst TV feature reporting competition for his Cronkite NewsWatch stories on the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra’s resident conductor and the food truck craze in Phoenix. December graduate Lydia Camarillo of Scottsdale, Ariz., placed ninth in the radio competition for a report on the Occupy movement in Phoenix and a story about a Native American who is sharing the tradition of tribal dance with a younger generation, both produced for The Blaze 1330 AM, ASU’s student-run radio station.

In addition, two Cronkite students received recognition in Hearst’s intercollegiate multimedia competition. Junior Alexandria Gregory of Mesa, Ariz., received ninth place for "Living Independently with ALS: One Man's Story." Senior Selena Larson, also of Mesa, placed 11th for “Child Slaves of West Africa.”

"Cronkite students continue to produce quality work, which we're all really proud of," said Cronkite Director of Career Services Mike Wong, who coordinates the school’s Hearst entries. "When our students are recognized nationally at the highest levels across many platforms, it shows the true breadth and quality of our program."

The Cronkite School receives a $10,000 award for its first-place finish in the broadcast competition. University of North Carolina and University of Southern California tied for second place, followed by University of Missouri, Brigham Young University, Syracuse University, University of Montana, Pennsylvania State University, University of Florida and University of Maryland.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program, often called the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism, consists of 14 intercollegiate competitions in writing, photojournalism, radio and television broadcast news and multimedia. The intercollegiate competitions culminate in the Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship, where the top finalists in each competition demonstrate their skills in on-the-spot assignments and compete for additional scholarship awards.

The program, administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually.

The Cronkite School has finished in the top 10 nationally in the Hearst Awards for the past 10 years, including first-place finishes for the 2008–2009 and 2006–2007 academic years. The school has placed first in the intercollegiate broadcast competition two out of the past three years and three out of the past six years. The contest is judged by professional journalists.