Journalism Students Earn National, Regional Honors

Hearst Journalism Awards and Society of Professional Journalists Recognize Excellence in Collegiate Journalism
Zach Zdanowicz, '22

Students in the School of Media and Journalism recently received recognition from two prestigious student journalism competitions: The Hearst Journalism Awards and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Mark of Excellence Awards.

The Hearst Journalism Awards are often known as the “Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism.”

Journalism student Marz Anderson, ’22, placed among the top 20 broadcast student journalists (16th place) in the nation in this competition.

Within his entry, Anderson submitted two pieces:

He was inspired to report on off-year elections based on his own experience, saying, “I don’t think news does a good job of understanding that someone is always turning 18, and as a young Black kid I didn’t know how voting worked or why it was important, or which elections actually mattered.”

Anderson said he is honored by this recognition.

“My goal is always ‘get the grade,’ but it’s also just as important for me to tell a great story,” he said. “I learned during my broadcast journalism course that I need to slow down when shooting my stories. It feels great be a Black, gay journalist, and in some way becoming one of those promising faces with a promising future.”

Anderson hopes to leave his mark on the world through his passion for broadcast journalism and says he aspires to leave a legacy like other Black alumni of Kent State he admires, including Wayne Dawson and Arsenio Hall.

The SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards recognized three Kent State Student Media as regional winners. These entries will now be judged against other regional winners across the nation.

TV: Breaking News Reporting

Alumna Melissa Meyers, ’21, was named the regional winner with her TV2 piece, the “Zachary Blosser Arraignment.” Meyers is currently an anchor and reporter with WBTW News 13 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“Out of all the stories I’ve done during my time at Kent, this may be the one that I’m most proud of,” Meyers said. “Having the opportunity to cover this story, which wasn’t easy given the circumstances of Zachary Blosser’s case, helped prepare me for my career in journalism. Winning this award goes to show that hard work pays off and I’m thankful to receive that recognition.”

 Broadcast/Online Feature Videography

Kelly Krabill ’22, earned regional honors for a piece on urban farming. She produced the story in collaboration with WKSU/Collaborative NewsLab.

“It's an honor to be recognized as a winner for the Society of Professional Journalists. When I reported on urban farming last summer, I learned a lot about the hard work it takes to create something long-lasting. I was even able to capture video and in-person interviews to tell the story during the pandemic,” Krabill said. “Thank you to everyone who has invested in my education and sees potential in me as a future journalist.”

Best Student Magazine

Fusion Magazine was named the best overall student magazine in the region. Fusion’s editor-in-chief, Amanda Stayer, ’23, a photography major, said she is thrilled with her team’s accomplishment. She offered a special congratulations to alumna Angela Molina, '19, '21, the editor of the winning issue.

“This win ... was very important to us, especially due to the content of the magazine,” Stayer said. “Our Spring 2021 issue focused on intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ community. It analyzed the different ways gender, race, ability and religion impact the experience of queer individuals. We wanted to recognize that not all experiences are the same and we need to acknowledge and respect those differences. The staff overcame a lot of hardship due to the pandemic while creating this issue and there were many long hours involved.”

Regional Finalists

Kent State Student Media also had two finalists in the SPJ regional Mark of Excellence Awards:

  • Lyndsey Brennan in the “General Column Writing” category.
  • TV2 in the “TV Newscast” category

Kevin Dilley, Director of Student Media, is proud of the many accomplishments of his students.

“It was great to see our students win in SPJ. I’m especially proud of the range of awards that span several groups, platforms and types,” Dilley said. “It shows that our students excel in multiple areas and as individuals or on a team.”

POSTED: Thursday, May 12, 2022 02:35 PM