Recent Kent State Journalism Grad’s Work Recognized with Student Murrow Award
Recent Kent State graduate Brandon Bounds, ’19, is part of a team of top student journalists that earned the 2019 Student Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting.
Bounds collaborated on the award-winning project, “Hate in America,” a package of multimedia stories focused on acts of intolerance, racism and hate crimes across the country, as part of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. News21 is a multi-university, in-depth journalism collaborative based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Kent State students have been represented in the program in six of the last seven years.
Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication recognized Bounds earlier this year with the Robert G. McGruder Student Award for Diversity, for his work on the project. “Hate in America” also received a 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the college category.
Bounds was part of a team of 38 journalism students from 19 universities who traveled to 36 states, including a 7,000-mile road trip around the country, who conducted nearly 300 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of court documents, FBI data and state and federal statutes. Their analysis of national crime statistics concluded that there were more than 2.4 million hate crimes committed across the U.S. between 2012 and 2016.
Portions of the project were published and aired by new organizations across the country. This year’s publishing partners included USA Today, the Center for Public Integrity, ProPublica, The Arizona Republic, The Des Moines Register, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Oregon Public Broadcasting, among others.
The 2019 winners will be recognized at the Edward R. Murrow Awards black tie event hosted by the Radio Television Digital News Association Oct. 24 in New York City.
The Carnegie-Knight News21 program is an initiative that brings top journalism students from across the country to the Cronkite School each year to report on an issue of national significance. Previous projects have spotlighted issues ranging from water safety and gun rights and regulations to veterans’ issues and marijuana legalization. Kent State alumna and recent graduate Anna Huntsman, ’19, is currently participating in the program and reporting on natural disaster recovery efforts.
“I’m continually in awe of the work of by young reporters in the Carnegie Knight News21 program,” said News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel. “This project on hate crimes in America was particularly challenging. The students navigated often difficult and uncomfortable situations, yet they excelled at telling great stories.”
Established in 2015 by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Student Murrow Awards celebrate excellence in student journalism at the collegiate and high school levels. Unlike the professional Edward R. Murrow Awards, which are presented to news organizations, the Student Murrows are awarded to individuals in five categories — audio newscast, audio reporting, video newscast, video reporting and digital reporting.
The RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession. It has been honoring outstanding achievements in professional journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the electronic news profession.