Cronkite Student Wins Story of the Year Award from Associated Collegiate Press

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020


By Kasey Brammell

Andrew Howard, a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, won Story of the Year in the breaking news category from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) last month for his story on Kurt Volker’s resignation.

Fellow students Molly Stellino, Delia Johnson and Kyley Warren also won reporting awards. Stellino won an honorable mention for her in-depth story on ASU’s abandoned sustainability goals, and Johnson and Warren won third place for their diversity story on Native women coming together to confront high rates of maternal mortality.

The ACP is a division of the national Scholastic Press Association, advancing journalism and media as a vital cultural force. The organization connects collegiate journalists and collegiate journalism advisers through national events and competitions.

Howard’s story, published on Sept. 27, 2019, was the first to confirm Volker’s resignation from his position as the U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine following reports of collaboration between himself, Ukraine and President Donald Trump. Other major news publications such as The Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN credited the State Press for breaking the story.

“I heard one instructor dismiss Andrew’s work on that story as something that fell into his lap. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Thomas Blodgett, editorial adviser to the State Press. “Andrew was not just attuned enough to know what was going on in the world and the way it connected to ASU, but smart enough to work a back channel that he knew he had and others didn’t. It paid off in a big way with an impactful story of international significance.”

In April, Howard was chosen as the editor-in-chief of the State Press.

“Something I think we are all proud of is that we got to spread our audience and bring what we do to a much wider group of people than we’ve been able to do before,” Howard said. “This whole experience proves that we as student journalists should be taken as seriously as any other reporter.”

Blodgett praised the work of the State Press students, Howard and Stellino, as well as Johnson and Warren for their work with Cronkite News.

“State Press students own their product. They come up with and approve the ideas, do the reporting, writing, editing and publishing without professional guidance unless they seek such advice. These two stories were done, as nearly all are, without such advice,” Blodgett said. “They stand as a testament to the work of great student journalists. I am pleased to know Andrew and Molly as well as Delia Johnson, whose recognized work was with Cronkite News but who was a key player in our newsroom during her time as a Cronkite student.”