Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) offers many opportunities for students to earn real-world experience before going out into the world. The most well-known opportunities probably lie in the student-run newspaper, The Daily Iowan, but several students not on staff are also constantly winning hard-earned Hearst Journalism awards, among others. We are so proud of the amazing performance of our students this year winning various journalism related awards.

Below is a glimpse of this year's achievements:


Hearst Photo Picture Story: Katina Zentz, 3rd place

Hearst Multimedia III – Digital News or Enterprise Story, Individual

  • Brooklyn Draisey, 10th – My brother died when I was 9; the UI children’s hospital’s sibling program helped me through. Read the story.
  • Julia Shanahan, 20th – As Insulin prices rise, politicians attempt to take action, but for some families it’s too late. Read the story.

Hearst Personality Profile Writing: Anna Kayser, 16th: Tom Brands leads through accountability in the Iowa wrestling room. Read the story. 

The Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa’s student-run newspaper, and its student staff have concluded the 2019-20 academic year with great success! The newspaper earned the SPJ National Mark of Excellence for Best All-Around Daily Student Newspaper and was a National Finalist for sports writing (large school division). DI’s staff had eight regional winners: 

  • Breaking news photography - Nick Rohlman
  • General news photography - Roman Slabach
  • Sports photography - Katina Zentz
  • Best all-around daily student newspaper - Staff
  • Breaking news reporting - Marissa Payne, Hawkeye Marching Band madness: After Harreld’s Cy-Hawk remarks, universities move forward
  • Feature writing - Brooklyn Draisey, Mollie Tibbetts’ family shares the UI student’s legacy one year after her death
  • In-depth reporting - Julia Shanahan, As insulin prices rise, politicians attempt to take action, but for some families - it’s too late
  • Sports writing - David Harmantas, ‘I don’t feel like she’s ever going to lose’: An Iowa woman’s quest to go pro in MMA

In addition to the winners, DI’s staff had four SPJ regional finalists:

  • General news reporting - Marissa Payne, UI pays nearly $4 million to keep Modern Piping off pharmacy-building construction
  • Sports writing - Anna Kayser, Tom Brands leads through accountability in the Iowa wrestling room
  • Feature Photography - Katina Zentz 
  • Online/Digital Feature Videography - Roman Slabach

The Daily Iowan was also awarded Student Broadcast of the Year and Student Website of the Year by the Great Plains Journalism Awards. Four students received individual recognition:

  • Student Photographer of the Year - Katina Zentz
  • Student Writer of the Year - Julia Shanahan 
  • Student Editor-in-Chief of the Year - Marissa Payne
  • Student Designer of the Year - Jim Geerdes

Jordan Zuniga, a sports reporter for DI, came in 12th place for a Hearst Journalism Award for personality/profile writing for a story covering Hawkeye's women's basketball legend Megan Gustafson. Read the story.

The Daily Iowan had four finalists for SPJ regional awards in 2019:

  • Feature writing - Marissa Payne, University of Iowa history, told through the head Hawks’ eyes
  • Sports writing - Adam Hensley, Closing in on win No. 144: Kirk Ferentz approaches history
  • In-depth writing - Molly Hunter, When being a family farm doesn’t mean squat in the government’s eyes
  • TV general news reporting - Kaylyn Kluck, Mars Rover

DI had three regional winners, with one being named a national finalist:

  • General news reporting - Katelyn Weisbrod, UI student research found over 100 birds collided into 5 campus buildings (national finalist)
  • Column writing and editorial writing - Isabella Rosario (winner in both)
  • Sports writing - Brooklyn Draisey, UI legend reflects on 50 years of fighting for gender equality in intercollegiate athletics

The Great Plains Journalism Awards granted multiple awards to DI, with three finalists and five winners:

  • Great Plains Student Newspaper of the Year: The Daily Iowan, Gage Miskimen, Katelyn Weisbrod and Marissa Payne
  • Dan Harrison Memorial Student Broadcaster of the Year: Kaylyn Kluck
  • Dan Harrison Memorial Student Photographer of the Year: James Year
  • Dan Harrison Memorial Student Writer of the Year: Marissa Payne
  • Dan Harrison  Memorial Student Designer of the Year: Lily Anne Smith

Kit Fitzgerald came in third place for Best Collegiate Features Journalist from the Society for Features Journalism, with Marissa Payne receiving an honorable mention.

Congratulations, students!