WKU School of Media places third in Hearst intercollegiate overall competition among journalism programs

WKU finished third in the Hearst Intercollegiate Overall Competition. Photo provided by the School of Media via a press release.

WKU finished third in the Hearst Intercollegiate Overall Competition. Photo provided by the School of Media via a press release.

Debra Murray, Digital News Editor

The 2021 Hearst Intercollegiate winners were announced today, and WKU’s School of Media placed third in intercollegiate overall, first in intercollegiate photojournalism, and second in intercollegiate multimedia. The Hearst awards have been called the “Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.”

The Hearst program holds year-long competitions in writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia for journalism undergraduates. The points earned by individual students in these monthly competitions determine each discipline’s Intercollegiate ranking, where the university with the most points are the winners.

WKU placed third in intercollegiate overall, first place went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and second place to the University of Florida. Chris Kohley, a spring 2021 graduate from Streamwood, Illinois, was a runner-up in the photojournalism championship and received a $1,500 award.

Ron DeMarse, director of the School of Media, said it’s impressive for WKU’s smaller program to compete with larger journalism programs across the country.

Of the other two – that make up the top three with us – Florida has over five times the number of students that we have, North Carolina is operating under a $25 million endowment, and they both have five times the number of faculty,” DeMarse said. “This really is a David and Goliath situation, and we compete with them every year.”

WKU placed first in intercollegiate photojournalism, followed by Ohio University in second place and third place to UNC at Chapel Hill.

WKU placed second in intercollegiate multimedia. First place went to UNC at Chapel Hill and third place went to San Francisco State University. Sam Mallon, a senior from Silver Spring, Maryland, was a runner-up in the multimedia championship and received a $1,500 award.

“If you’ve won the top student prize in the entire nation, that’s even more valuable to your career,” DeMarse said. “It’s why our students land the best internships in the country and then go on to top careers in our fields.”

Digital News Editor Debra Murray can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @debramurrayy