Five students place across four Hearst Awards

Five students place across four Hearst Awards

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 11:45am
Hearst Awards display
The Hearst Journalism Awards program was founded in 1960 to provide support, encouragement, and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level.

by Savanah Baker

Five students from the University of Nebraska­–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications have placed in the top 20 across four Hearst Journalism Awards competitions. Students in the top five receive a monetary award, while students who place sixth through 10th receive a certificate of merit.

Cody Nagel, a junior ADPR and journalism student, placed second in the sports writing competition. Nagel received a $2,000 award and was selected out of 119 entries from 69 universities.

Calla Kessler, a junior journalism student, placed fourth in the multimedia competition and received a $1,000 award. She also placed ninth in the photo picture story/series competition, receiving a certificate of merit.

Jacy Jean Lewis, a senior journalism student, placed seventh in the multimedia competition and received a certificate of merit.

Zach Penrice, a sophomore broadcasting and journalism student, placed 16th and Bree Anne Samani, a junior triple-major student in ADPR, broadcasting and journalism, was in a three-way tie for 18th in the radio competition. 

Nagel’s second-place story focused on a high school in Banner County, Nebraska, where a school had to forfeit its six-man football season because it could not field enough students for a team.

“The story is evidence of the shrinking population of rural Nebraska,” Nagel said. “However, despite the hardships in the rural community, one thing that stood out was the continued positive attitude the citizens portrayed.”

Nagel said the positivity paid off as the school was able to field enough students for a six-man football team to play all eight games in the 2016 season.

“I am humbled to have placed in the Hearst competition,” he said. “When I began writing for the Daily Nebraskan in the spring of 2015, I set a goal for myself to place in the sports writing category. Accomplishing that goal took a lot of hard work and sacrifice. It's an honor to be awarded for that.”

Nagel credits the advice and editing he received from the Daily Nebraskan staff, and said, “Without their help the story would not have turned out the way it did.”

Kessler’s multimedia project was on the Anandaban Hospital in Nepal, which treats patients suffering from leprosy. Her video explored the social and mental effects leprosy has on those infected, as well as the treatments received at Anandaban Hospital.

She said, “Leprosy is a disease that many people assume is strictly biblical, no longer affecting people today. However, it is still rampant in tropical, rural, low-income regions because of poor sanitation and healthcare.”

Kessler has been grateful for her opportunity to compete in the Hearst Journalism Awards. She said, “It’s an honor to represent the CoJMC in the Hearst competition because it not only gives our program exposure, but it provides the stories I tell with an opportunity to be shared. It’s a celebration of good journalism and motivation to improve.”

According to the Hearst Journalism Awards Program website: “The program was founded in 1960 to provide support, encouragement, and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism, with matching grants to the students’ schools.”