Hearst Awards

Cronkite School wins top honors at the 2021-2022 Hearst Journalism Awards

Thursday, July 28, 2022


ASU’s Cronkite School placed third overall in the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards program and scored in the top five in writing, photojournalism and television categories.

The Hearst Journalism Awards, often referred to as the Pulitzers of college journalism, holds monthly contests for writing, audio, television, photojournalism and multimedia reporting, culminating with a national championship competition in those categories in late spring. 

Journalism schools that win top honors receive prize money while winning students are awarded scholarships.

In the overall category, the top three schools were the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Florida and Arizona State University. 

ASU also scored third place for photojournalism, fourth in the writing category, fourth for audio and television, and eighth for multimedia. 

After the monthly contests, Cronkite student Alberto Mariani and recent graduate Kiera Riley were selected to compete in the 2022 Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship, during which winners of the individual competitions faced off in a live competition that consisted of reporting, writing and photographing stories.

Mariani placed third in the Photojournalism championship and was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, as well as a Hearst Medallion. He also received an additional $1,000 scholarship after receiving Best Portfolio from the semifinals. 

Mariani previously placed first in the Photojournalism I category for news and features in the monthly competition. 

“Being able to participate in the Hearst Awards National Competition was an incredible experience, and to win something at the end of it made it even more special. However, the most enriching part of the championship was meeting and hanging out with five other extremely talented photographers, as well as the opportunity to talk to and share ideas with some of the most capable editors and professionals in the industry,” Mariani said.

Kiera Riley received a $1,500 scholarship after being named a finalist in the Writing category. She also received an additional $1,000 after her story was named Article of the Year. Riley placed second in the monthly competition for the Features category for her story “Dubbing ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ into Navajo Language”  before being selected for the championship.

“Being a Hearst finalist was the highlight of my college career. I had the privilege of meeting and learning from some of the most talented journalists in the field. It was such an honor,” Riley said. 

Here are the students who placed in the monthly competitions:

Photojournalism I – News and Features 

First: Alberto Mariani, Photo Collection, Cronkite News

13th: Samantha Chow, Photo Collection, Cronkite News


Second: Kiera Riley, “Dubbing ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’ into Navajo Language,” Cronkite News

Photojournalism II – Picture Story/Series

Fourth: Marlee Smith, “The Western Way of Life,” Cronkite News

Exploratory Writing

Fourth: Chris Howley, “Diversifying the pack: Cross fostering helps Mexican wolf population boost genetic mix,” Cronkite News

10th: Mikenzie Hammel, “Advocates spotlight an overlooked cause of maternal mortality: mental health,” Cronkite News

Television II – News

Second: Faith Abercrombie, “Eating Disorders Increase,” “Graffiti Busters” and “Therapeutic Foster Care,” Cronkite News

Fourth: Raven Payne, “Downwinders,” “Point in Time” and “School Bus Driver Shortage,” Cronkite News


Seventh: Amiliano Fragoso, “Last Chance Yuma: Thriving Arizona Western soccer program bonds a community,” Cronkite News

Ninth: Gabrielle Ducharme, “Rez ball rebirth in Chinle: Navajo Nation rebounds as pandemic takes its toll,” Cronkite News

Multimedia Narrative Video Storytelling

Eighth: Travis Robertson, “What the New Stimulus Plan Means for College Students,” The State Press

Multimedia Narrative Video Storytelling

14th: Drake Presto, “Herberger student who lost his job due to Covid-19 starts his own business selling vintage clothes,” The State Press

Personality/Profile Writing

18th: Samantha Byrd, “‘It was an open country’: Gadsden resident reflects on life along the border,” Cronkite News

Audio News/Features

20th: Karen Marroquin, “Pregnant people aren’t getting COVID vaccine, health providers worry,” Cronkite News

Television Features

20th: Zachary Larsen, “Rodeo Team,” Cronkite News and “Trailblazing football coach makes a comeback,” Arizona PBS

Multimedia Digital News/Enterprise Story

12th: Ike Everard, “One of the last true great American twirlers,” The State Press

Multimedia Innovative Storytelling and Audience Engagement

13th: Judah Brody, “Breaking the stigma of arts through pursuing music as an Asian American student,” The State Press

By Connor Fries