Journalism Student Ranks in Nation's Top 10 for 'Pulitzer Prize of Collegiate Journalism' Contest

Senior Earns Recognition in Broadcast Features Category

The Hearst Journalism Awards — widely known as the Pulitzer Prizes of Collegiate Journalism — recently recognized Kent State senior Gianna DaPra in the nation’s top 10 for television features.

DaPra, a journalism major in the School of Media and Journalism, earned 10th place recognition for two stories she worked on from 2019-2020:

  • Makeup Madhouse — a story about a local makeup guru — was created for her Advanced Broadcast Reporting class.
  • Kent Car Care Clinic — which she shot, wrote and edited all in one day — was created for TV2, Kent State’s independent television news station.

DaPra credits her top 10 recognition to her experience with TV2.

“TV2 is run so close to a real news station, and that’s where I feel like Kent separates us from the rest,” she says. “We learn as if we are already in the professional field, and it couldn’t be more helpful.”

The supportive faculty, especially her broadcast journalism instructor Assistant Professor Gretchen Hoak, also helped her along the way, unleashing her full journalism potential.

“We are very fortunate at Kent State to have such a tight run news station and teachers who truly care about our journalism students,” DaPra says. “Without those two things I feel like I wouldn’t know what I want to do in my journalism career. They are hands-on and individually help you with anything you need.”

DaPra completed an internship with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2019. After graduation, she would like to be a reporter in news or entertainment. Her top 10 recognition by Hearst has affirmed that she is on the right path.

“Seeing that other people and professionals thought this way of my work has made me realize that journalism is the right major and place for me,” she says. “I feel so honored and grateful that I was able to learn from such great leaders because I wouldn’t have been able to do it did without Kent State.”

The 61st annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program added broadcast journalism to the competitions in 1988. The program also includes five writing, two photojournalism and four multimedia competitions offering up to $700,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends. There are 103 universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs are eligible to participate in the Hearst competitions.

The School of Media and Journalism is part of the College of Communication and Information at Kent State (CCI). CCI is the only college in the nation to offer programs in the distinct but related fields of media, design, technology, communication and information.

POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 3:59pm
UPDATED: Monday, March 22, 2021 - 4:04pm