Student media sites Annenberg TV News, Neon Tommy and Annenberg Radio News won a total of eight awards, including four first-place finishes and three awards in professional media categories. Annenberg TV News had three of those first-place awards. Neon Tommy won a 2nd-place award in both the Online News Story and Online Entertainment News/Feature/Commentary categories against major media competition. Southern California Public Radio was the only Southern California media outlet that finished ahead of Neon Tommy's “Secrecy About Swine Flu Deaths Breaks State Law, Experts Say," while only Slate.com finished ahead of Amy Silverstein's (M.A. Print Journalism '11) Competition is Getting Ugly at Christmas Tree Lots.
"Journalism schools are becoming a more and more important part of the news and information landscape, and these awards show that we at Annenberg are performing that responsibility exceptionally well," School of Journalism director Geneva Overholser said. "I'm so proud of the journalism we are doing here and delighted to see it so richly recognized."
Communication professor Robert Scheer won second place in the Oline Journalist category, journalism professor Judy Muller was part of a KCET-TV group that won a first place, second place and honorable mention award in the feature and investigative journalism categories, adjunct journalism professor Sara Catania won an honorable mention award for online sports news/feature/commentary, and alumnus Daniel Heimpel (M.A. Print Journalism 2007) won a first-place award for commentary. "In separate guest columns, Heimpel calls stark attention to a tragic crisis in our nation’s foster-care system," the judges said. "The writing is clear and the facts are startling."
"While I am happy that I won, the more important point is that solution-based coverage of the foster care system can garner the attention of my fellow journalists," Heimpel said. "The more we can focus on solutions, as my columns did, the closer we will be to improving the lives of children in foster care."
USC Annenberg student media that won awards:
ANNENBERG TV NEWS:
Professional media category:
Best Website (online only, low budget), 1st Place
Judges Comments - "News about life in the University of Southern California community has a fine home at atvn.org. A nice snapshot of what's going on in Trojan Nation."
Best Website (online only, low budget), Honorable Mention
The ATVN CLOSE-UP section of atvn.org was produced in Serena Cha's innovative news and sports multimedia course.
Student media categories:
Best Student News Broadcast, 1st Place
Judges comments: "Excellent package of coverage dominated by the story of the terrible hit-and-run death of Adrianna Bachan outside USC. Several strengths stand out, including the reporting of Mat Mendez, who gathered riveting and horribly sad coverage of the sobbing mother shaking photos of her dead daughter at passersby and journalists. The producers followed this dramatic segment with an excellent feature about the favorite memories of the dead student¹s friends, and wrapped up the package with several additional reports involving questions of whether USC officials had done enough, whether pedestrian safety is sufficient in the area, and the psychology behind hit-and-run crimes. Excellent editing and sound."
Best Student News Website or Blog, 1st Place
Judges comments: "Annenberg TV News (Website Manager Derek Staahl) shows what happens when you mix talented students with plenty of well-funded, high-end technology. This site offers a lot of excellent coverage and reports."
Best Student News Website or Blog, Honorable Mention
Judges comments about the ATVN CLOSE-UP section: "Annenberg TV News (Website Manager Jackie Tsai) offers a multi-media complement of photos, videos and text within the larger site. It¹s filled with interesting real-life stories of students, trend pieces and newsier stories with a social message."
ANNENBERG RADIO NEWS:
Best Student News Broadcast - Radio or Web, 1st Place
Judges comments: "Smart, fast-moving, and easy to understand. Excellent editing and sound. One standout interview is with an employee of the MTA where mechanics working on a fleet of hundreds of buses are replacing old engines with fuel-efficient ones. The worker is explaining that the federal stimulus money will be important to the plan to make the fleet cleaner. Another good report is on farmer's markets, highlighted by a quirky interview with a man who loves farmer's markets because he wants to taste the 'real' taste of food."
Online News Story, Feature, Series or Package, 2nd place
"Secrecy About Swine Flu Deaths"
Online Entertainment News/Feature/Commentary, 2nd place
"Competition is Getting Ugly at Christmas Tree Lots" (Amy Silverstein)
"It’s a huge honor being in a competition with so many talented journalists and incredible news outlets that we’ve grown up reading," Neon Tommy Editor-in-Chief Callie Schweitzer said. "It’s absolutely amazing to be ranked among the best of them."