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Cronkite Students Take Home 51 SPJ Awards

April 19, 2008

For the eighth consecutive year, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication dominated the Society of Professional Journalists’ regional student competition.

Cronkite students won a remarkable 51 awards – nearly half of all the awards given in the Region 11 SPJ Mark of Excellence competition, which honors the best student work in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada. Last year Cronkite students won the region with 35 awards.

Cronkite awards included 21 first-place honors across print, radio, television and online. All of the first-place winners will go on to the national SPJ awards competition, which the Cronkite School also has dominated the past two years, winning more awards than any other school in the country.

“Cronkite School students continue to set the bar for thoughtful, in-depth, highly professional journalism across all media platforms,” said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. “It’s hard to describe how proud we are of these terrific students and the dedicated faculty members who mentor them to greatness.”

In this year’s Region 11 contest, Cronkite NewsWatch, the school’s student-produced television newscast, was named Best TV Newscast and broadcast students took first place in all nine television categories. The school also swept five television categories, taking first, second and third places in each.

In the online journalism competition, Cronkite students swept two categories, and the CronkiteZine, an online Web site that showcases student work, was named Best All-Around Independent Student Publication.

In the print competition, students took six first places in breaking news reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, sports writing, general column writing and news photography.

Students accepted their awards at a ceremony at the University of Arizona in Tucson earlier this month.

Cronkite student winners:

Television Awards

Television Newscast
First: Cronkite NewsWatch 2007

Breaking News Reporting
First: Erika Taillole, “Memorial Union Fire”
Third: Michelle Kyung Ashworth, “Obama Live”

General News Reporting
First: Elias Johnson, “Bayou Rebirth”
Second: Amanda Goodman, “Tent City”

In-Depth Reporting
First: Cronkite NewsWatch, “Memorial Union Fire”
Second: Ashley McNamee, “Polygamous Custody Battle”
Third: Amanda Goodman, “Busiest Border Crossing”

Feature Reporting
First: Anne McCloy, “Shrimp Farm”
Second: Hailey Frances, “Tombstone Walk Down”
Third: Jeff Skrzypek, “Revival of Records”

Sports Reporting
First: Evan Doherty, “Practice Squads”
Second: Molly O’Brien, “Rattlers Tryouts”
Third: Natalie Varty, “Hamilton High Football”

News Photography
First: Nikki Rowley, “Phoenix Graffiti”
Second: Eric Miller, “Bayou Rebirth”
Third: Eric Miller, “Tent City”

Feature Photography
First: Nikki Rowley, “Revival of Records”
Second: Anne McCloy, “Shrimp Farm”

Sports Photography
Second: Zack Strier, “Sun Dogs Hockey”
Third: Nikki Rowley, “Teen Racer”

Radio Awards

Feature Reporting
First: Carolyn Carver, “Girl Scout Prison Program”
Second: Carolyn Carver, “Guatemalan Adoptions”

News Reporting
Third: Martha Castaneda, “Pit Bull Attack”

Print Awards

Breaking News Reporting
First: Sonu Munshi, “Sheriff Opens K-9’s Hot-Car Death Probe”
Second: Carolyn Carver, “Four Arrested in Death of Missing Girl”

General News Reporting
First: Ryan Kost, “State Tries to Treat Hospital Violence”

In-Depth Reporting
Third: Jonathan J. Cooper, “Nursing Arrears”

Feature Writing
First: Brent Ruffner, “Straddling Two Worlds”
Third: Eric Graf, “Classical Piano Sets Tone for Arizona School Superintendent”

Sports Writing
First: Christopher Drexel, “New Coach, New Era”
Third: Kyle Odegard, “Stuck in Neutral”

General Column Writing
First: Ray Ceo, Jr., selection of columns

Non-Fiction Article
Second: James Kindle, “The New Border Fence?”

News Photography
First: Deanna Dent, “Autism on the Rise”

Sports Photography
Second: Morgan Bellinger, “Territorial Cup Victory”

Best Student Magazine
Second: State Press Magazine

Online Awards

Best All-Around Independent Online Student Publication
First: Cronkitezine staff

News Reporting
First: MCO 598 Online Media, “Parking (Not) My Space”
Third: Jordan Jurkowitz & Katarina Kovacevic, “The New (And Improved) Glendale”

In-Depth Reporting
First: JMC 494 Advanced Online Media, “Galapagos”
Third: JMC 494 Advanced Online Media, “The Business of Death”

Feature Reporting
First: Chris Sheppard, “Baghdad or Bust”
Second: JMC 425 Online Media, “First Fridays”

Sports Reporting
First: Ryan Kost and Deanna Dent, “Anatomy of a Fighter”
Second: Christopher Drexel, “New Coach, New Era”
Third: Si Robins, “Hoop Dreams”

Opinion and Commentary
First: Cassandra Nicholson, “Intellitainment”
Second: Ryan Kost, “Telling Stories: A Writer’s Blog”
Third: Darin Trimillos, “West Coast Bias”

Best Affiliated Web Site
Third: ASU Web Devil