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KU News Release

March 3, 2006
Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, (785) 864-7644.

KU ranks first in national Hearst journalism contest

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas currently ranks first in the 46th annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program, with the highest accumulated school points from the first four, out of six, writing competitions. More than 100 undergraduate accredited journalism programs in colleges and universities across the nation participate in the prestigious awards program.

University Daily Kansan staff members have placed first and ninth in in-depth reporting; sixth and ninth in sports writing; 11th in feature writing; and 20th in editorial writing.

The winning schools will be named in April upon the conclusion competition, which includes contests in writing, photojournalism and broadcast. The top school receives a $10,000 grant, the second-place school $5,000 and the third-place school $3,000.

The latest KU winners are Ryan Colaianni, sixth place, and Matt Wilson, ninth place, both in sports writing. Colaianni and Wilson received $500 scholarships.

Last month, Steve Vockrodt placed first in the in-depth writing competition, and Louis Mora placed ninth. Vockrodt received a $2,000 scholarship and Mora a $500 scholarship.

Ted Frederickson, professor of journalism and instructor for newspaper reporting and depth reporting classes, said the final project requirement “gives students a chance to apply and demonstrate the skills they developed in all of their journalism classes to one major story.”

“Most of those students end up producing the best stories they have yet written, and some not only win national recognition in the Hearst competition but actually launch successful journalism careers based on their stories,” Frederickson said.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and fully funded and administered by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. It consists of six monthly writing competitions, three photojournalism competitions and four broadcast news competitions with championship finals in all divisions. Each accredited school or department of journalism is allowed to submit two student entries in the six writing categories, with the winners chosen by a panel of distinguished professional journalists.

Recent KU winners, their hometowns, majors and descriptions of their winning entries are:

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Mission
Louis Henry Mora, senior majoring in news and information, son of Louis and Elvira Mora and a graduate of Bishop Miege High School, received a $500 scholarship for ninth place in the in-depth writing competition. Mora’s story, “The Greek Divide,” focused on how and why KU’s fraternities and sororities remain more than 99 percent white nearly 40 years after they were required to change membership rules that excluded African-Americans from membership. His story, written as a final project for the newspaper reporting class, was published in the Dec. 5, 2005, issue of The University Daily Kansan.

COLORADO
From Aurora
Steve Vockrodt, May 2005 graduate in journalism, son of Tom and Mailys Vockrodt and a graduate of Smoky Hill High School, received a $2,000 scholarship for first place in the in-depth writing competition. Vockrodt researched and wrote “The Scarlet List,” a comprehensive examination of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Web site that tracks the identity and whereabouts of sex offenders. His project, written for a depth reporting class, appeared in the May 12, 2005, issue of the Kansan. Vockrodt now works for The Olathe News.

MISSOURI
From Windsor
Matthew Robert Wilson, senior majoring in news and information, son of Robert and Melody Wilson and graduate of Windsor R-I High School, received a $500 scholarship for ninth place in sports writing. Wilson’s story “Welcome to Fabulous Debt” examined the dangers of sports gambling. His story, written for the newspaper reporting class, appeared in the Dec. 6, 2005, issue of the Kansan.

VIRGINIA
From McLean
Ryan Colaianni, junior majoring in news and information, son of Peter and Lisa Colaianni and a graduate of McLean High School, received a $500 scholarship for sixth place in the sports writing competition. Colaianni’s story, “Pounds of Performance,” studied the growing size and weight of college football players and the dangers associated with this trend. His story, written for the newspaper reporting class, appeared in the Dec. 1, 2005, issue of the Kansan.

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