Thursday, January 14, 2010

Awards: learning on deadline. (William Randolph Hearst Foundation's1992-1993 Journalism Awards Program).


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The 1992-1993 Journalism Awards Program operated by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation presented journalism awards to four college journalism students from around the country. The competition presents monetary awards to winners in three categories, writing, photojournalism and broadcasting. Since 1960 the Journalism Awards Program has awarded over $4.5 million in awards to college journalism students.

Full Text :COPYRIGHT 1993 VNU Business Media
In a period when reporting jobs are in short supply for journalism graduates, Wendy Bounds' only problem is deciding which of two major newspapers to work for.

The University of North Carolina senior has received offers from the Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times. Moreover, she will spend the summer as an intern at the Wall Street Journal.

Bounds is a member of an elite group of journalism majors. She was among 20 finalists in the 1992-93 Journalism Awards Program funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and operated under the auspices of the Association of Schools of journalism and Mass Communication.

The finalists in writing, photojournalism and broadcasting recently flew to San Francisco, stayed in a luxury hotel, ate lavishly and then went to work for glory and big money in the Championship Finals, sometimes called the "Pulitzers of college journalism."

Indeed, the 33-year-old program's alumni include 20 real Pulitzer Prize winners and four finalists. Everyone in the San Francisco contingent won first place in six monthly competitions in which the foundation paid out $280,300, including matching money for the students' schools. Participation is limited to schools and departments of journalism accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Whatever their inner turmoil, the writing and photography contestants displayed professional cool in handling their competitive assignments in San Francisco.

The writers arose before dawn to cover the annual San Francisco Examiner Bay to Breakers race - billed as the world's largest marathon - and interviewed former Secretary of State George Shultz at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, where he is a fellow.

The photographers shot a picture story called the "Romance of San Francisco" at the Breakers run and turned in portraits.

All this was under the watchful eyes of program director Jan C. Watten and professional judges, who sat in on the Shultz news conference and later sweated over the students' coded, unsigned copy.

The contestants, who were given background material on Shultz the night before, swung for a home run in their first questions, asking for his view on what the U.S. should do about Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"Picking the best stories was a very tough call," said one of the writing judges, Michael F. Foley, director of community relations for the St. Petersburg Times and its former executive editor. "I would publish a bunch of their stuff."

Apparently other newspapers agree. Bounds, who took the $3,000 first place prize in San Francisco, already has interned at the Miami Herald and has been a correspondent for the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer.

The second-place winner, Warren Hynes, also a North Carolina j-school graduate, spent a summer with the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer-Times.

Arizona State University's Michelle Campbell, who tied for third with Doug Ferguson, still another North Carolina product, has interned for the AP and the Arizona Republic.

Finalist Patricia Callahan of Northwestern will leave an internship at the Chicago Tribune to work for the Orange County edition of the Los Angeles Times this summer.

Those who finished below third place could take solace in Watten's statement: "If they've been invited here, they're winners.

"They are all the best and the brightest," added Foley. But he warned that, if retrenchment continues to create a tough job market, the contestants and other promising journalism graduates "will decide that newspapers are not the place for them. We'll be losing some very fine talent."

Another judge, Caesar Andrews, executive editor of the Rockland (N.Y.) Journal-News, expressed fear that a sluggish job market would steer journalism graduates away from newspapers. But, he also had concerns about those hired.

"The talent will be there," he said. "The question is how that talent will be used. Newspapers have a tendency to force young staff members to conform to old ways of doing things. Now, more than ever, we need new blood and new ideas. We should not discourage these graduates from staying with us."

The program received high marks.

"One of the joys in judging a contest that involves students is that it reinvigorates you about where things are headed," Andrews said. "They are turning out great stuff. You get ideas about what your newsroom should be doing. And it's also a great recruiting tool by letting you know what's out there."

A third judge, the Orange County Register editor Tonnie Katz, also was impressed by the entries and said, "There is lots of fine detail and good quotes."

The future of newspaper photography also seemed to be in capable hands, according to the judges.

"There were so many fine entries that judging has been very difficult this year," observed C. Thomas Hardin, director of photography at the Detroit News. "There is a high level of competence."

The first-place photo winner, James T. Weber of Ohio University, has interned at the Springfield (Ill.) State Journal Register and the Troy (Ohio) Daily News.

Second-place finisher Tyler R. Mallory, a junior at American University, has free-lanced for the Washington Post.

Al Schaben, of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, who placed third, has shot for the Detroit Free Press and the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle as an intern and was a U.S. Army journalist in Operation Desert Storm.

Mallory, who wants a newspaper career, said of the finals: "It's very useful to see the stiff competition I will be facing. These are really top photographers."

Richard A. Ruelas, a writing finalist from Arizona State, appeared to already have mastered the persistence and creative thinking often required to land a job.

He recalled that after Phoenix AP bureau chief Charlotte Porter spoke to his reporting class, he alone followed her out to her car, "pestered her" for a job and finally persuaded her to look at some of his clips. The payoff: an editorial assistantship.

Of the 725 finalists between 1960 and 1988, who responded to a foundation survey, 443 were active journalists. The rest ranged from 95 public relations and "communications" employees to 27 attorneys and 25 university professors. There also were two ministers, a winemaker and the owner of a bed-and-breakfast inn. Since the program started in 1960, the Hearst Foundation has handed out over $4.5 million in awards.

The money is nice but the young journalists, like many of those before them, say their career motivations are stronger.

"I want to do investigative reporting," said Callahan of Northwestern. "I'm an idealist. I still believe that journalists have a role to play in making this a better world."

The first-place story, published in the Chicago Reader, that earned her a trip to San Francisco, was about an AIDS-prevention outreach worker whose clients were gang members, heroin dealers, dope addicts and prostitutes.

Doug Ferguson's winning entry in the past year was an op-ed piece in North Carolina's Daily Tar Heel in which he revealed he was gay and argued that "family values" can be defined in different ways.

Matt Bordelon, a finalist from Louisiana State University, investigated teen-age shooting deaths in Baton Rouge and found that loopholes in state laws make it easy for minors to buy guns.

Bounds' first-place entry originally appeared in the Miami Herald. It concerned a counterfeiter who found everything he needed for his trade in the yellow pages.

They were all good stories that promised even better ones to come.

Said Bounds: "I'm not perfect but I'm willing to give a newspaper willing to take a chance on me everything I've got."

Source Citation
Stein, M.L. "Awards: learning on deadline. (William Randolph Hearst Foundation's 1992-1993 Journalism Awards Program)." Editor & Publisher 126.33 (1993): 27+. Academic OneFile. Web. 14 Jan. 2010. .

Gale Document Number:A14343019*****
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