WKU School of Media ranked 3rd nationally in Hearst Awards


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An exploratory committee has submitted a report regarding a potential merger between WKU’s School of Media and Department of Communications that would, if approved, see both programs housed under one roof in Jody Richards Hall.

Alexandria Anderson, Editor-in-Chief

The WKU School of Media won two first place honors and was ranked No. 3 overall in the intercollegiate Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

The Hearst awards rank accredited undergraduate journalism programs in the categories writing, photojournalism, audio-television and multimedia by the highest amount of accumulated points by individual student winners. The universities with the highest points overall are placed as the overall winners.

WKU’s ranking of No. 3 nationally in the rankings for 2022-23 marks the 30th consecutive year that the program has been among the top eight, and the 14th straight year it has been in the top five. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was ranked No. 1, and the University of Florida came in second. Behind WKU were the University of Missouri (fourth) and Pennsylvania (fifth).


Award prizes of $10,000, $4,000 and $2,000 respectively are given to the top three schools in each division, along with a $25,000 prize for the first place overall winner.

WKU won a first place award in photojournalism and in multimedia, winning over schools such as Michigan State and Missouri.

Ron DeMarse, director of the School of Media, described his excitement for WKU winning the awards and what it means for students, faculty and staff in the college.

“We’re thrilled with this result,” DeMarse said via email. “It’s another testament to our outstanding students and faculty and the amazing work they do every year. It’s hard to appreciate this achievement without scanning the list of renowned programs that finished below us – including Missouri, Syracuse and Arizona State.”

DeMarse commended the university’s wins, as WKU was only ranked below programs with a higher operating endowment and a larger enrollment.

“In fact, WKU was only eclipsed by a School of Journalism that operates under a $25+ million endowment [UNC] and a College of Journalism that draws entries from 2,300 undergrads [Florida], each featuring over 50 full-time faculty [compared to our 14],” he said.

Editor-in-chief Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].