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Cronkite Students Compete in National Hearst Championships

May 9, 2010

Four students from the Cronkite School will travel to New York in June to compete in the national Hearst Journalism Awards championships.

The students will compete in radio, television and print categories, producing stories that are judged by professional journalists. The winners will be awarded prizes ranging from $1,500 to $5,000.

The Cronkite School has more students participating in the competition than any other journalism school in the country.

“Winning national awards in prestigious contests is not easy,” said Mike Wong, director of career services at the Cronkite School. “When our students consistently finish at the top or near the top in these competitions and sustain it over a period of time, it’s truly amazing.”

A total of 24 students from throughout the country were selected for the National Broadcast News and National Writing Championships based on their performance in monthly contests during the school year. Cronkite students consistently lead in those contests. For 2009-2010, Cronkite came in first nationally in broadcast and third in print news writing.

Cronkite senior John LaBarbera of Levittown, N.Y., who won first place in radio multimedia reporting in the monthly contests, is one of four national finalists in the radio category.

Graduating seniors Lindsey Reiser of Scottsdale, Ariz., who came in first in TV news reporting, and Toby Phillips of Albuquerque, N.M., who placed third in TV feature reporting, will compete as two of five television finalists in the national championships. And graduating senior Allison Gatlin of Glendale, Ariz., who placed third and fourth in two monthly Hearst writing contests, will be one of eight writing finalists.

The students will convene in New York, where the Hearst corporate headquarters are located, for four days beginning June 8. The championships are usually held in San Francisco but were moved this year in honor of the competition's 50th anniversary.

Sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Hearst Journalism Awards Program began in 1960. Today, students from more than 100 accredited undergraduate journalism programs compete for grants, scholarships and stipends totaling more than $550,000 each year. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation was created in 1948 in honor of its namesake, publisher William Randolph Hearst.