Hearst College National Championship Winners Announced

Winning college journalists in the National Writing, Photojournalism, Audio, Television and Multimedia Championships were announced on June 14 by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program.

The Hearst Championships are the culmination of the 2020-21 Journalism Awards Program, which were held in 104 member universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs. From June 4 to June 11, 29 finalists — winners from the 14 monthly competitions — participated in the 61st annual Hearst Championships.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Championships were held virtually once again. Finalists met their judges and received their assignments over Zoom meetings, then produced and submitted their pieces from home on deadline.  The winners were announced at the live-broadcast awards ceremony on Monday, June 14, 2021.

Click here to view the awards presentation and to see the winners work.

Following are the winners and the scholarships they received:

National Writing Championship
First Place, $10,000 award: Melissa Manno, Pennsylvania State University
Second Place, $7,500 award: Riley Haun, University of Idaho
Third Place, $5,000 award: Caleb Coffman, Indiana University


Writing Championship runner-ups listed in alphabetical order:
Katie Ann McCarver, University of Iowa, $1,500 award
Luke Mullin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, $1,500 award
Gabe Stern, Syracuse University, $1,500 award

National Photojournalism Championship
First Place, $10,000 award: Alie Skowronski, Ohio University
Second Place, $7,500 award: Rebecca Slezak, Ball State University
Third Place, $5,000 award: Angelica Edwards, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Photo Championship runners-up listed in alphabetical order:
Chris Kohley, Western Kentucky University, $1,500 award
Isaac Ritchey, Central Michigan University, $1,500 award
Nate Swanson, Ohio University, $1,500 award

National Audio Broadcast News Championship
First Place, $10,000 award: Caleb J. Suggs, University of Memphis
Second Place, $7,500 award: Emma VandenEinde, Arizona State University
Third Place, $5,000 award: Charlotte Ix, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Audio Championship runners-up listed in alphabetical order:
Jaeha Joshua Chang, University of Southern California, $1,500 award
Natalie Saenz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, $1,500 award

National Television Broadcast News Championship
First Place, $10,000 award: Joe Freihofer, Michigan State University
Second Place, $7,500 award: Annabel Thorpe, University of Missouri
Third Place, $5,000 award: Katelyn Keenehan, Arizona State University

Television Championship runners-up listed in alphabetical order:
Chris O’Brien, University of Florida $1,500 award
Alyssa Jackson, University Missouri, $1,500 award

National Multimedia Championship
First Place, $10,000 award: Hope Davison, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Second Place, $7,500 award: Victor Prieto, University of Florida
Third Place, $5,000 award: Kate DeBlasis, University of Maryland

Multimedia Championship runners-up listed in alphabetical order:
Nathaniel Josh Zaldarriga Consing, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, $1,500 award
Sam Mallon, Western Kentucky University, $1,500 award

Special Awards:
$1,000 award for Best Article of the Year went to Gabe Stern, Syracuse University.
$1000 award for Best Reporting Technique went to Caleb Coffman, Indiana University.
Those awards were selected from the monthly writing competition entries.

$1,000 award for Best Single Photo went to Angelica Edwards, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
$1,000 award for Best Portfolio went to Isaac Ritchey, Central Michigan University.
Those awards were selected from the semi-Final photo competition.

$1,000 Award for Best Use of Audio for News Coverage went to Natalie Saenz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This award was selected from the monthly audio entries.

$500 Award each for Best Use of Television for News Coverage went to Alyssa Jackson, University of Missouri and Annabel Thorpe, University of Missouri.  These awards were selected from the semi-final entries.

$1,000 Award for Best Multimedia Story of the Year went to Hope Davison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This award was selected from the monthly competition entries.

Championship Judges
Writing judges:  Dwayne Bray, Journalist-at-large, ESPN’s The Undefeated; Larry Kramer, Retired President and Publisher, USA Today, Maria Reeve, Managing Editor, Content, Houston Chronicle.

Photojournalism judges: Luis Rios, Director of Photography, San Antonio Express-News; Mark Morris, Independent Visual Consultant; Marcia Allert, Director of Visual Journalism, Dallas Morning News.

Audio and television judges: Candy Altman, retired Vice President News, Hearst TelevisionHolly Quan, Reporter/Anchor, KCBS Radio;  Joe Rovitto, President, Clemensen & Rovitto LLC.

Multimedia judges: Danese Kenon, Managing Editor, Visuals, Philadelphia Inquirer; Jarrad Henderson, Senior Multimedia Producer – Investigative and Enterprise Video Team, USA Today; Meredith Hogan, Senior Creative Producer, Red Element Studios.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation was established by its namesake in 1948 under California nonprofit laws, exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. Since then, the Hearst Foundations have contributed more than $1 billion to numerous educational programs, health and medical care, human services and the arts in every state.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960 to support, encourage and give assistance to journalism education through scholarships for outstanding college students. Since its inception, the program has distributed more than $14 million in scholarships and grants for the exceptional work by student journalists who participate in the program.

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