WKU Finishes Sixth Nationally in 2024 Hearst Overall Intercollegiate Competition

Western Kentucky University’s School of Media & Communication has secured a sixth-place finish in the 2024 Hearst Overall Intercollegiate Competition, reinforcing its long-standing tradition of excellence in the prestigious Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

A Legacy of Excellence

WKU has consistently ranked in the top eight overall for 31 consecutive years, with overall championships in 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2018. The top 10 schools in the 2024 competition were:

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2. University of Florida
3. Syracuse University
4. University of Missouri
5. Arizona State University
6. WKU
7. Pennsylvania State University
8. Michigan State University
9. University of Iowa
10. University of Maryland

About the Hearst Program

Often referred to as “The Pulitzers of college journalism,” the Hearst program includes competitions in writing, photojournalism, audio, television, and multimedia. It offers up to $700,000 in scholarships, grants, and stipends, and is open to 105 accredited undergraduate journalism programs.

WKU’s 2023-2024 Achievements

In the 2023-2024 Hearst program, WKU accomplished:

  • Second place in the Intercollegiate Multimedia Competition ($4,000 award)
  • Fourth place in the Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition
  • Tenth place in the Intercollegiate Broadcast Competition

Upcoming Championships and Student Success

Awards will be presented at the 64th annual Hearst National Championships in San Francisco, California. WKU students Brett Phelps and Rhiannon Johnston will compete for national championships in photojournalism and multimedia, respectively.

WKU students have won 16 individual Hearst national championships since 1985, across various categories such as photojournalism, multimedia, writing, and radio news.

Intercollegiate Competition Highlights

  • WKU has won the Intercollegiate Photojournalism Competition 29 times in the past 35 years.
  • WKU has won the Intercollegiate Multimedia Competition nine times since its inception in 2010.

2024 Intercollegiate Competition Results

Multimedia: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, WKU, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Nevada, Reno, University of Missouri, Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University, and Stony Brook University.

Photojournalism: University of Iowa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Missouri, WKU, Michigan State University, San Francisco State University, Ohio University, University of North Texas, Iowa State University, and University of Kentucky.

Broadcast: Syracuse University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Missouri, University of Florida, Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University, University of Maryland, Kent State University, Ohio University, and WKU.

WKU’s ongoing success in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program underscores its commitment to excellence in media and communication education.

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