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WKU’s School of Media wins Hearst photojournalism title for fourth straight year, 26th time in 31 years

Western Kentucky University’s School of Media has won the Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition for the fourth straight year and 26th time in the past 31 years.

With a second-place finisher in the Photojournalism II – Picture Story/Series Competition and sixth-place and seventh-place finishers in the Photojournalism I – News and Features Competition, WKU had the highest accumulated student points in the 2019-2020 photo competition. WKU’s School of Media will receive a $10,000 award.

The top 10 finishers in the 2019-2020 Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition are WKU; Arizona State University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Michigan State University; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Ohio University; University of Missouri, Kent State University; University of Montana; and Ball State University.

In the Photojournalism II competition, Lily Thompson, a senior from Paoli, Indiana, finished second, received a $2,000 award and qualified for the semifinal round of judging. In the Photojournalism I competition, Michael Blackshire, a senior from Louisville, finished sixth and Silas Walker, a senior from Portland, Oregon, finished seventh.

Often called “The Pulitzers of college journalism,” the Hearst Journalism Awards Program,in its 60th year, consists of five writing, two photojournalism, one radio, two television and four multimedia competitions offering up to $700,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends; 104 member universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs are eligible to participate in the Hearst competitions.

The points earned by individual students in the monthly writing, photojournalism, radio, television and multimedia competitions determine each discipline’s Intercollegiate ranking. The winners are those schools with the highest accumulated student points in each category. The overall Intercollegiate winners are the schools with the highest accumulated student points in the writing, photojournalism, broadcast and multimedia competitions.

WKU has finished in the top eight nationally in the Hearst program for 26 straight years and has won four overall national championships — 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2018. In 2019, WKU finished fifth overall with a first-place finish in the photojournalism competition and second in the multimedia competition.

WKU students have won 15 Hearst individual national championships since 1985 — photojournalism in 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2016; multimedia in 2015; writing in 1985; and radio news in 2006.

From Western Kentucky University

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