Both USC Annenberg alumni and current students in the masters of specialized journalism (the arts) attended the NAEJ Awards. From (L-R) Devika Girish, Kristin Marguerite Doidge, Liz Warner, Sophie-Marie Prime, Rosemarie Alejandrino and Evelyn McDonnell.

USC Annenberg students and alumni honored with L.A. Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards

Devika Girish (R) was awarded first place for her radio story, “Demystifying Bollywood.”

Ampersand, an arts and culture digital magazine produced by students in the master of specialized journalism (the arts) program won four awards at the 11th annual Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards on Dec. 2.

Finalists were honored for producing critical, thought-provoking, entertaining journalistic work across categories in all media, including print, radio, TV and online.

Student winners

The student winners included:

Radio/Podcasts — Soft News Feature
1st Place
Devika Girish (M.A., specialized journalism (the arts), ’19) “Demystifying Bollywood”
Judges’ comment: “Devika effectively uses sound elements to take the listener on a complicated journey into and through Bollywood. Her smooth transitions with sound make Bollywood accessible to all. This is creative work that accomplished its mission.”

Student Journalism — Any Platform — Best arts or entertainment profile 
1st Place
Liz Warner (M.A., specialized journalism (the arts), ’18) “A Look Back at Roxy Music's Inventive Start”
Judges’ comment: “The journalist captures a sense of what makes Roxy Music so important to the world of music. What is appealing about the story is the lighthearted approach. Excellent!”

Student Journalism — Any Platform — Best commentary/critique
2nd Place
Sophie-Marie Prime (M.A., specialized journalism (the arts), ’19) “Arts Journalists Must Stand with Survivors”

Rosemarie Alejandrino (L) and Sophie-Marie Prime took 2nd and 3rd place in the best commentary/critique category and are both recipients of the Rotten Tomatoes Fellowship in Digital Innovation.
3rd Place
Rosemarie Alejandrino (M.A., specialized journalism (the arts), ’18) “From Bleachers to Barricade: Jack Antonoff is a Live Pop Force”

Alumni winners

In addition to the four graduate students who took home awards, ten USC Annenberg alumni also won.

Criticism — Film — Any media platform (print, broadcast, or online)
1st Place
Justin Chang (B.A., print journalism, ’04), Los Angeles Times, “Has horror become the movie genre of the Trump era?”
Judges’ comment: “Justin Chang’s work is so multi-leveled, so expertly written and imbued with a sense of film history, that his readers remember why they love movies.”

Criticism — Food and Culture
3rd Place
Todd Martens (B.A., print journalism, ’00), Los Angeles Times, “In a divisive political climate, E3 shows that maybe video games had it right all along”

Print — Newspapers or Magazines — Personality profile, movie, industry-related — Under 2,500 words
3rd Place
Amy Kaufman (B.A., print journalism, ’08), Los Angeles Times, “A Voice of Defiance”

TV/Video/Film — Hard News Feature — Under 5 Minutes
2nd Place
Tiffany Taylor (B.A., broadcast and digital journalism, ’14), Jen Laski, Stephanie Fischette, Jason Averett and Jason Bass, The Hollywood Reporter, “Seth MacFarlane Used ‘Family Guy’ to Drop Hints About Weinstein, Spacey Sexual Misconduct Claims”

TV/Video/Film — Documentary or Special Program, Feature — Over 30 Minutes
2nd Place
Peter Musurlian (B.A., broadcast journalism and political science, ’83) and Sabrina Fair Thomas, Globalist films and KLCS, “Holocaust Soliloquy”

Liz Warner won first place for her arts and entertainment profile of Roxy Music's inventive start.
Radio/Podcasts — News or Hard News Feature
2nd Place
Benjamin Gottlieb (M.A., broadcast journalism, ’12), Steve Chiotakis and Eric J. Lawrence, KCRW, “Remembering rock icon Tom Petty”

3rd Place
Benjamin Gottlieb and Steve Chiotakis, KCRW, “What happens after you win an Oscar?”

Online — Celebrity Feature
2nd Place
Philiana Ng (B.A., communication, ’09),, “Texas Forever: Taylor Kitsch is Doing Hollywood His Way”

3rd Place
Terry Flores (B.A., journalism, ’83), Variety, “Mark Hamill on Working With Guillermo del Toro on Animated Series ‘Trollhunters’”

Online — Entertainment blog by an individual or group, tied to an organization 
3rd Place
Kristopher Tapley (M.A., print journalism,’09), Variety, “In Contention”

Social Media — Best journalistic use of social media by an individual 
2nd Place
Christina Schoellkopf (B.A., history and broadcast journalism, ’15), Los Angeles Times, “Hollywood History in the Making: Harvey Weinstein’s Arrest”