Huskers place first and eighth in Hearst audio competition

Thursday, February 16, 2023 - 6:45am

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is proud to announce that two of its students have earned recognition in the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Audio Competition. Hallie Gutzwiller, a senior broadcasting major from Elm Creek, Nebraska, won first place and a $3,000 prize. Holly Fischer, a senior triple majoring in broadcasting, political science and advertising and public relations from Beatrice, Nebraska, received a certificate of merit for placing eighth in the competition.

The Hearst Audio Competition is an annual event that recognizes outstanding undergraduate work in audio journalism, podcasting and other forms of audio storytelling. This year's competition drew entries from universities across the country, with 20 finalists selected from a pool of hundreds of submissions.

Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, said she is proud of the students and their accomplishments in the prestigious competition.

“Their hard work and talent have been recognized, and it's a great honor for our university and our college," Veil said.

Gutzwiller's winning submissions were "Wildfires Nebraska" and "Water Preservation." The stories cover the effects of wildfires on communities in Nebraska and the importance of water conservation in the state. The judges praised Gutzwiller's storytelling and reporting skills, calling her pieces "compelling and informative."

Fischer's entries, "Parental Consent and Censorship" and "Drought Resiliency in Nebraska," explore the challenges faced by young people and farmers in the state. The judges commended Fischer's strong reporting and use of natural sound to bring the stories to life.

As a result of their success in the competition, Gutzwiller and Fischer have both earned recognition from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which sponsors the competition. Gutzwiller has also qualified for the National Audio Championship, along with the four other finalists from the Hearst Audio Competition.

"Hallie and Holly are shining examples of the outstanding work being produced by our students," Veil said. "We're thrilled to see them recognized for their talent and dedication."

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960 to provide support, encouragement, and recognition to journalism students across the United States. Today, the program awards more than $700,000 in scholarships and grants annually, and its competitions in writing, photojournalism, and broadcasting are widely considered among the most prestigious in the country.

Hallie Gutzwiller
Hallie Gutzwiller
Holly Fischer
Holly Fischer