BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Students from Western Kentucky University’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting won the first multimedia and photojournalism competitions of the 2016-2017 Hearst Journalism Awards Program.
Alyssa Noel Pointer, a May photojournalism graduate from Fayetteville, Ga., finished first in the Multimedia I/Narrative Storytelling – Features Competition. She will receive a $2,600 scholarship for her winning multimedia piece titled “Tough Love” from WKUPJ.com.
Shaban R. Athuman, a sophomore photojournalism major from Roanoke, Virginia, placed fourth in the competition and will receive a $1,000 award.
WKU photojournalism majors Harrison Alexander Hill and Gabriel Scarlett finished first and second in in the Photojournalism One – News and Features Competition and qualified for the semifinal round of judging in April.
Hill, a senior from Louisville, received a $2,600 award; Scarlett, a sophomore from Maumee, Ohio, received a $2,000 award.
The School of Journalism and Broadcasting receives matching awards.
WKU is in first place in the Intercollegiate Multimedia Competition with the highest accumulated student points from the first of four multimedia competitions and is in first place in the Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition with the highest accumulated student points from the first of two photo competitions.
Often called “The Pulitzers of college journalism,” the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, now in its 57th year, includes five writing, one radio, two television, four multimedia and two photojournalism competitions offering up to $500,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends; 106 member universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs are eligible to participate in the Hearst competitions. Schools accumulating the most points earned by their students in each category are designated the winners of the Intercollegiate Competitions.
The final Intercollegiate winners will be announced in April. The top three intercollegiate winners earn $10,000, $4,000 and $2,000 respectively.
WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting placed third overall in the 2015-16 Hearst program after winning the Intercollegiate Multimedia Competition and finishing second in the Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition.
WKU has finished in the top five nationally in the Hearst overall competition for the past seven years and won the national championship in 2000, 2001 and 2005. WKU has won the multimedia competition for five consecutive years, has won the photojournalism competition 22 times in the past 27 years and has finished in the top eight overall for 23 straight years.
WKU students have won 15 Hearst individual national championships since 1985 — photojournalism in 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016; multimedia in 2015; writing in 1985; and radio news in 2006. The 2017 national championships will be held in June in San Francisco.