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Cronkite Students Take 1st in SPJ Region 11 Awards for 12th Year

April 12, 2012

For the 12th consecutive year, students of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University took first place in the regional Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence competition.

The Cronkite School won a total of 38 awards in the Region 11 contest, more than double the number won by the next closest school. University of California at Berkeley finished second with 15 awards, followed by UCLA (12), San Francisco State University (five), University of Arizona (five) and University of Southern California (three).

The Region 11 Mark of Excellence competition recognizes the best student journalism in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and the Mariana Islands.

The Cronkite School’s awards this year included 13 first-place honors across the contest’s print, radio, television and online categories. The first-place stories and publications will compete with other regional first-place winners in the national Mark of Excellence contest.

Cronkite NewsWatch, the school's live, 30-minute, student-produced newscast airing on Arizona PBS four nights a week, was named Best All-Around Television Newscast among four-year universities. Cronkite students also took first-place honors in seven of the nine television categories, including TV Breaking News Reporting, TV General News Reporting, TV In-Depth Reporting, TV News Photography, TV Sports Photography and TV Sports Reporting. In addition, Cronkite students swept the categories of TV In-Depth Reporting, TV General News Reporting, TV Sports Reporting, TV News Photography and Online Opinion and Commentary.

The State Press, ASU’s student newspaper, was named Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and also took first place in Online Featuring Reporting for its multimedia project “Life on the Light Rail.” Downtown Devil, another student-produced publication, won Best Independent Online Student Publication.

In addition, Cronkite News Service staff earned first-place honors in Online News Reporting for their multimedia report on life at the U.S.-Mexico border. Cronkite students in News21, a national investigative journalism initiative headquartered at the Cronkite School, received first place in the Online In-Depth Reporting category for their multimedia project “How Safe Is Your Food?”

Cronkite students routinely dominate the SPJ regional and national competitions, winning nearly 250 SPJ regional awards in the last six years. In addition, last year they came in first in the national SPJ contest for the sixth consecutive year.

Earlier this year, Cronkite won first in the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts competition, taking home 20 student awards that included two Best of Festival and two first-place awards.

Broadcast Awards

Best All-Around Television Newscast
First: Cronkite NewsWatch Staff, “Cronkite NewsWatch”

TV Breaking News Reporting
First: Lauren Titus, “Occupy Phoenix”
Third: Ryan Haarer, “Occupy Light Rail”

TV General News Reporting
First: Kylee Gauna, “American Border Patrol”
Second: Taryn Hale, “Bark Beetles”
Third: Gardenia Coleman, “Head Start Expands”

TV In-Depth Reporting
First: Lisa Ruhl, “The Daily Journey”
Second: Dan Neligh, “A Line in the Sand: The Story of Two Volunteers on the U.S.-Mexico Border”
Third: Matthew Trotter, “Medicaid Cuts Put Rural Hospitals on Tougher Financial Limits”

TV Feature Reporting
Second: Krystal Klei, “Female Boxing Promoter”
Third: Dan Neligh, “Symphony Conductor”

TV Sports Reporting
First: Lisa Blanco and Isaac Easley, “Kenny Mitchell”
Second: Jason Lewis, “ASU Lacrosse”
Third: Mallory Kydd, “Jim Brock”

TV News Photography
First: Dan Neligh, “A Line in the Sand: The Story of Two Volunteers on the U.S.-Mexico Border”
Second: Taryn Hale, “Border Rancher”
Third: Gardenia Coleman, “Gila River Shelter”

TV Feature Photography
Second: Dan Neligh, “Symphony Conductor”
Third: Nathan O’Neal, “Underground Hotel”

TV Sports Photography
First: Brandon Kamerman, “Volleyball Smarties”
Third: Isaac Easley, “The New Battlefield”

Radio Feature Reporting
Second: Nick Gnat, “Johnny D”

Online Awards

Best Independent Online Student Publication
First: Downtown Devil staff, “Downtown Devil”

Online News Reporting
First: Cronkite News Service staff, “24 Hours at the Border Reveals Region That Defies Stereotypes”
Third: Selena Larson, Lindsay Hoffman and Stephanie Paeprer, “Scars of War”

Online In-Depth Reporting
First: News21 staff, “How Safe Is Your Food?”
Second: Depth reporting class, “Stateless in the Dominican Republic”

Online Feature Reporting
First: State Press staff, “Life on the Light Rail”

Online Sports Reporting
Second: Andrew Gruman, “Men's Hoops Tops OSU on Emotional Senior Day”
Third: Domenico Nicosia, “Roller Derby Teams Skate, Collide Toward Championship”

Online Opinion & Commentary
First: Vaughn Hillyard, 2011 columns
Second: Brendan Capria, 2011 columns

General News Photography
Second: Michel Duarte, “Border Markets Provide Passage for Undocumented Immigrants”

Print Awards

Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper
First: State Press staff, “The State Press”

Best Student Magazine
Second: State Press staff, “State Press Magazine”

General News Reporting
Third: Shawn Raymundo, “Tattoo Parlor Case Draws First Amendment Debate”

Sports Photography
Second: Beth Easterbrook, “Football Steamrolls UC Davis”

Editorial Cartooning
Second: Chelsea Rash, 2011 cartoons