The University of Nebraska – Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications placed fourth in the nation the 2014-2015 Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Currently, 108 accredited undergraduate journalism schools are eligible to participate in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program.
CoJMC was named fourth in the multimedia competition and fifth in both the writing and photojournalism competitions.
“University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s top-five placement is truly a great accomplishment,” said Dean Maria Marron. “Our faculty work hard every day to bring the very best out of our students. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a university to produce successful and educated graduates. What our faculty do in class every single day and in extra-curricular activities really matters. Every success is the culmination of all that they do.”
Faiz Siddiqui was named a writing finalist in the Hearst National Championship for his story “Saving Sisay,” which also took first in the Hearst feature writing competition. His winning entry is about a 7-year-old who’s suffering from a congenital spine disease and sought life-saving spinal reconstruction. Sisay underwent corrective spine surgery in Ghana earlier this year. This was Siddiqu’s fourth top-five Hearst award. Recently graduated, he’s now an intern at the Washington Post.
In May, Shelby Wolfe and Mara Klecker placed seventh in multimedia team reporting for their presentation “La Cienga.” La Cienga is known as “the town with no kids” in southwest Ecuador. It’s a vanishing community with only 13 people living there, all between 60 and 100 years old. The students traveled to Ecuador in December 2014 with the college’s Global Eyewitness Project, which brings attention to social issues in developing countries and is led by Bruce Thorsen, associate professor of journalism.
Earlier this year, Wolfe finished second in the multimedia competition with her piece “Relying on the sea: Pollution threatens the livelihood of green mussel farmers,” and Sierra Ramsey finished ninth with “Rising from the rubbish: A mother’s impact on a village of trash pickers.” Both students traveled to Indonesia in May 2014 with the Global Eyewitness project.
In April, Klecker was named second in the Hearst personality profile writing competition for her story “At home in America: ‘I am so thankful.’” Chris Heady tied for 14th place with his piece “Road to recovery: Former Husker Anthony Steels overcomes drug addiction.” Klecker and Heady are both interns at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Alex Lantz placed fifth in sports writing.
Kaylee Everly placed second in the first photojournalism competition in the categories of news and features. She recently graduated is a multimedia intern at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and fully funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. The 14 monthly competitions consist of five writing, two photojournalism, one radio, two TV and four multimedia, with Championship finals in all divisions. The program awards up to $500,000 in scholarships and grants annually.