Two JMC Students Place Nationally in Hearst Sportswriting Competition

Two students from Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) placed among the top 20 nationwide for the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s sports writing competition.

Senior journalism majors Richard Mulhall and Stephen Means placed ninth and eighteenth (tie), respectively, among sports writing entries submitted by college students from across the United States.

Richie MulhallThe Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960, to provide support, encouragement and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. 

Mulhall, who placed ninth, is currently a sports correspondent for the Akron Beacon Journal/ His submissions included “If ‘You Can Play,’ All Can Play” (The Burr Magazine), which was about LGBTQ-athletes and Kent State's culture of inclusion, and "Bitsko's death continues to raise questions of athletes competing with heart conditions," which took an in-depth look into the cause of death for Kent State footbal player Jason Bitsko.

"I would like to dedicate my award to the memory of Jason Bitsko," Mulhall said. "I personally didn't know Jason, but his story touched my heart and compelled me to write the story that caused the Hearst program to notice me in the first place. I'd like to think that his memory will live on through writing and reporting."

Means, who tied for 18th place, is sports editor the Kent Stater. His submission “Making the most of a second chance,” ran in the Kent Stater during the spring 2015 semester and chronicles men’s basketball redshirt junior Jimmy Hall’s comeback and second chance – from New York jail cell to basketball star.

"The one thing I really wanted to get across when writing the article was that this was a kid that had pretty much done a 180 degree turn in his life," Means said. "Two years before I wrote the article, Jimmy was sitting in a jail cell because of one mistake. (Kent State basketball coach Rob) Senderoff was willing to take a chance on him, and he more than took advantage of it."

Participation in the Hearst Journalism Awards program is open to undergraduate journalism majors currently enrolled in ACEJMC – accredited domestic universities. Mulhall and Means were selected from among 121 entries from 72 programs.

“The Hearst Journalism Awards are considered the Pulitzer Prize of collegiate journalism,” said JMC Director Thor Wasbotten. “We are always pleased to see our students perform well when competing against the top student reporters in the country.” 

POSTED: Wednesday, March 9, 2016 - 5:04pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 3:01pm