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Cronkite Students Bring Home Awards

April 29, 2010

Students in the Cronkite School have won a series of national awards for their work in television, radio, online and public relations.

“This has been an especially good year for our students,” said Associate Dean Kristin Gilger, who spearheads the school’s awards efforts. “Their work has been recognized as among the very best in the country, and that’s due not only to their hard work and talent but to the hard work and talent of their instructors.”

Recent award-winners include:

Zenith Awards
Three students won Zenith Awards, a national public relations competition for undergraduate journalism and strategic communications students. The contest, sponsored by two of the world’s largest public relations firms, received more than 100 entries from 20 different schools.

The Cronkite winners were:

  • Best Campaign for “The Phoenix Zoo Komodo Dragon Campaign.” Team members were Erika Simington, Kelley Moore, Jennifer Dottavio, Adrianna Bigard and Alyssa Aalmo;
  • Best PR Writing for "Students Get More than Caffeine from Starbucks" by Amy Fleishans;
  • Best PR Publication for “Give $1, Give Life” by Devin Creer.

Telly Award
A documentary produced by four Cronkite students received a Bronze Telly Award in the TV documentary category.

“Healing Reins” explores how equine therapy helps Vietnam War veterans, students with cognitive disabilities and recovering addicts. The half-hour production was a project of Professor John Craft’s documentary production class last fall by students Thomas Miller, Taryn Brady, Will Posthumus and Emily Wilson.

The Telly Award is one of the most prestigious awards given for video and film production, television programs and commercials and work created for the Web.

Online Journalism Awards
A Cronkite student reporting project on border issues in South Africa was a finalist for the 2009 Online Journalism Awards. “South Africa: At the Crossroads of Hate and Hope” was one of four finalists in the Student Journalism, Large Team category.

The awards program recognizes excellence in digital journalism around the world. It is administered by the Online News Association, a professional organization with more than 1,600 members who gather or produce news for digital presentation.

Center for Innovation in College Media
Several Cronkite student projects won online media awards from the Center for Innovation in College Journalism, a non-profit think-tank that helps college student media adapt and flourish in the new media environment. The winners were:

  • Best Audio Slideshow, first place: Jillian Sloan for “Eyewitnesses to Violence.” The judge said the project “was the clear winner. The chances taken on the visual production paid off. Emotional and visually striking, it takes your breath away.”
  • Best Use of Data, second place: Cronkite Zine for “Bordering Change,” a multimedia reporting project on issues along the U.S.-Mexico border. The zine is the Cronkite School’s student-produced online magazine.
  • Design, Best Interactive Package, second place: Cronkite Zine for the “Reality of Sex,” a multimedia package that includes a video montage, audio interviews and interactive quizzes.
  • Best Use of Mapping, second place: Christine Rogel for a graphic timeline about the fence being built along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Best Use of Mapping, honorable mention: Cronkite Zine for a map that shows how maquiladoras aren't just operated by border companies but by firms around the U.S.

Mark Twain Award
Cronkite junior Colton Shone was nominated for an Associated Press Television-Radio Association 2010 Mark Twain Award in the Best Use of Sound-Feature category. Winners will be announced in June at the APTRA convention in Anaheim, Calif.

Judging took place in February at The Associated Press bureau in Los Angeles with a panel of leading broadcast journalists who considered hundreds of entries from the 2009 calendar year. Shone’s nomination was for a story he did on a haunted farm for KTAR-FM radio in Phoenix.

Shone’s piece was separately honored with an Edward R. Murrow Award in the Use of Sound category for large market radio stations in Region 3, which covers Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

NPR StoryCorps
The work of nine students in the Cronkite School’s full-time professional master’s program was selected for the “Veterans Listening Project,” a national project of National Public Radio’s StoryCorps. The students told stories about U.S. veterans’ experiences in the military.

The work was done as part of an online media class taught by Cronkite Assistant Professor Leslie Jean Thornton.

In addition, all of the interviews were published as part of the East Valley Tribune's “Veterans Voices” project.

Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition
Natalie Podgorski is one of nine winners of the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition.

The Cronkite senior will be part of a journalism study trip to Japan this June with eight other students from around the country.

The award program, established in 1984 in cooperation with the Indiana University School of Journalism, recognizes the need for student journalists to better understand international affairs. The winners, whose entries represent print, broadcast and online media, were chosen for the high quality of their work, an essay about their interest in international affairs and letters of recommendations.