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Stater Cartoonist Wins $10,000 National Prize

Posted Mar, 15, 2010

Kent, OH (March 15, 2010) – Chris Sharron, a senior cartoonist for the Daily Kent Stater in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) at Kent State University, earned a coveted National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation. The National Journalism Awards honor the best work in the communications industry and journalism education each year.

Sharron will receive $10,000 and the Charles M. Schulz Award “for a diverse entry of traditional, alternative and humorous editorial cartoons,” according to award judges.

“This is one of the largest monetary awards that go to the nation’s student journalists,” said Jeff Fruit, director of JMC at Kent State. “With his UWIRE 100 honors and other awards, Chris is surely the best known and most highly honored student cartoonist in the country.”

Cash awards totaling $175,000 will be presented in 17 categories April 23 during a dinner at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa, Fla. It will be hosted by the Foundation and its corporate founder, The E.W. Scripps Company.

"These awards not only recognize outstanding talent, skill and intellect, but reward dedication to serving our country and communities with journalism that changes lives and protects democracy," said Mike Philipps, Foundation president and chief executive officer.

Sharron got his start cartooning for the college newspaper when he was a senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High School and has been at it ever since. In addition to his position as editorial cartoonist at the Stater, Sharron is also the paper's resident illustrator and helps out as one of its graphic designers.

For his cartoons, he has earned first place two years in a row in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence awards for his region. He was also named the first runner up for the John Locher Memorial Award in 2008 and was chosen as one of the 100 Most Promising Student Journalists in the country by UWIRE.com.

“When I found out [about the award], I was, of course, very excited, honored and humbled to be included among the winners of this prestigious award,” Sharron said. “I hope to pursue freelance cartooning and illustration upon graduation, as well as work on learning animation and maybe trying my hand at that as well. It is an exciting time for me to think about my future and exploring different possibilities.”

Aside from editorial cartooning, Sharron, who resides in Stow, also enjoys reading, good food, good company, and enjoying anything and everything related to film and filmmaking.

The National Journalism Awards competition was established in 1953 and is open to all U.S. news organizations and college journalism and mass communications educators. Opportunities for 2009 work were increased across multiple platforms and two new categories were created for community journalism and breaking news to reflect changes in the media business.

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Media Contact: Jennifer Kramer, 330-672-1960, jlkramer@kent.edu