Junior Places in Hearst's Top Ten for Broadcast Journalism

Journalism major Ben Orner, '18, placed in the top 10 for the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s 2016-2017 Journalism Awards Program’s Television Broadcast News Competition.

Orner placed ninth out of 69 entrants from 39 schools, earning a certificate of merit.  

“I didn’t think I would place at all,” Orner said. “I thought the stories I submitted were solid, especially the Bernie Sanders story, but I didn’t think they would rise to the top.”

Orner submitted two pieces for the competition. His submissions included “Bernie Sanders Stumps for Hillary Clinton at Kent State,” which covered Sanders’ rally at Kent State during the 2016 presidential election, and “Inmates Receive Second Chance Through Pell Grants for College,” a story about prisoners enrolled at Ashland University.

Orner said he first heard about the Hearst competition from assistant professor Gretchen Dworznik. Dworznik recommended Orner submit broadcast packages for the competition, and Orner gladly accepted.

Known as “the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” the Hearst awards consist of 14 competitions in college writing, photojournalism, radio broadcast, television broadcast and multimedia.

“The stories I submitted were stories I also did for the class I was in, Reporting Public Policy,” Orner said. “Gretchen helped me edit those packages so they would be more attractive to Hearst.”

As Orner nears graduation, he said he feels more confident in his job search because of his new honor.

“Besides the work that I do, I can put the Hearst award on my resume and say my work was nationally recognized,” Orner said. “When I start applying for jobs at TV news stations, it’s going to separate me from everyone else.”

Orner is also a Promising Scholar, a scholarship program that awards the highest academically achieving students in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also the public affairs producer at TV2, Kent State’s student broadcast television station. 

POSTED: Monday, April 10, 2017 10:15 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 09:32 PM
Haley Keding, '17