Student Journalists Earn Recognition for Coverage of National Issues
In 2020-21, student journalists in the Kent State School of Media and Journalism responded to the nation’s turbulent news cycle — a once-in-a-century pandemic, a combative presidential election and nationwide protests in support of racial justice and equality — by digging in and covering these issues on a local level.
They’re now being recognized for their important work. Kent State has earned 12 honors in the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) Regional Mark of Excellence Awards. Kent State is part of Region 4, which comprises universities in Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.
Of the 12 awards, Kent State earned two top regional honors. These pieces — both of which cover race relations on campus — will now be judged against top winners in each region across the country:
- Winner – Online News Reporting – The Rock series by KentWired Staff (Sept. 2, Sept. 7, Sept. 10, Sept. 11)
- Winner – Online/Digital News Videography – Black at Kent State by KentWired Staff
Included in these recent honors from SPJ, four Kent State Student Media partners earned recognition as finalists for best all-around in their divisions:
- The Kent Stater – Finalist, Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large University)
- Fusion Magazine – Finalist, Best Student Magazine
- Uhuru – Finalist, Best Student Magazine
- KentWired.com – Finalist, Best Affiliated Website
In addition, TV2 News was named a finalist for Best All-Around Newscast (single show) for its March 10, 2020 broadcast, the day Kent State University shifted to remote learning at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other finalist honors include:
- Online Feature Reporting: Kent State University's students for a democratic society, then and now - by Madison MacArthur, '20
- COVID-19 Newspaper/Online Coverage: COVID-19 vaccine explainer - by Connor Steffen, '22
- General Column Writing: One step at a time - by Michael Reiner, '20
- Photo Illustration: Your Voice Ohio illustration - by Cameron Peters, '21
- Television Feature Reporting: Makeup madhouse - by Gianna DaPra, '21
A strength of Kent State’s journalism program is the abundant opportunities for students to cover what’s happening in the world in real time, School of Media and Journalism Director Emily Metzgar, Ph.D., said.
“This year, we saw our student journalists rise to the occasion and cover complex issues — all while continuing to adjust to remote work and learning,” Metzgar said. “I’m pleased to see their work on issues of health, race, politics and more recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists.”