Cronkite News Wins Six Awards in Record Screening at LA Press Club Contest

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Cronkite News students from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication won six awards – including two in professional categories – at the 63rd Southern California Journalism Awards held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday. . The competition is sponsored by the Los Angeles Press Club, which has honored powerful journalism in the West Coast’s largest city since 1900.

With 10 nominations and six awards, it was Cronkite News’ most successful year at the LA Press Club Awards.

The story of digital journalist Sarah Donahue “Clean energy produced on Navajo lands could help power Los Angeles,” won second place in the Professional Environmental Reporting – Print / Online category. Curbed and Los Angeles Times reporters took first and third place in the category, respectively.

Sarah has shown tenacity and common sense in her reporting on the complex issues surrounding Los Angeles’ quest for sustainability, and the Navajo Nation’s need to diversify energy production following the closure of their based power plant. on charcoal, “said Shaya Tayefe Mohajer, Angeles’ Los Angeles bureau chief for Cronkite News since 2019 and a practice teacher at the Cronkite School. “She reunited with the President of the Navajo Nation at Los Angeles City Hall and did her own portrayal for history, while developing an outstanding report of significance.”

Donahue also won first place in the student category Best Feature Writing – Off Campus Issues and third place in the professional category for Solutions Journalism for “The urban farm provides residents of homeless shelters with good food and opportunities”, a visually rich story of photojournalism that shows how urban farms are tackling the problem of food insecurity for the homeless.

“Sarah’s excellent photojournalism has helped illustrate this important story of how seemingly small efforts can meaningfully serve the needs of people without housing,” said Tayefe Mohajer. “She had hoped to come back for more reporting, but the pandemic ended our reporting from the field in the middle of the semester – and yet she was still able to develop a detailed and thoughtful solution journal.”

The victory marks the second year in a row that a Cronkite News student has earned top honors in the Best Feature Writing – Off-Campus Issues category at the LA Press Club Awards.

Sports broadcaster Kelsey Collesi took home two awards, placing third in the two student categories for Best Personality Profile, Campus Personalities – Any Platform and Best TV Report, Podcast or Stream for Coaches of color dominate in the Pac-12, which examines the diversity among Pac-12 football coaches.

Tayefe Mohajer said Kelsey overcame the challenges of reporting from a distance and raised an important question about diversity in football training, gaining insight into the influential coaches leading the Pac-12 teams.

Digital news reporter Caroline Yu won third place in the Best News Writing – Off-Campus Issues category for her story, “Changes in flight paths at Burbank Airport are causing distress in surrounding communities”, which relied on shoe leather reports for rich details and descriptions.

Tayefe Mohajer said Yu’s story for KCET’s SoCal Connected program was the perfect opportunity to showcase his cohesive, meticulous reporting and witty writing.

Students from Cronkite School who entered the competition cover cross-platform sports news and reporting in one of the country’s largest media markets.

“2020 has been an exceptionally difficult year for journalists around the world, and our student journalists at Cronkite School have still managed to do an exceptional job for Cronkite News and Arizona PBS,” said Tayefe Mohajer. “I am so proud of the student journalists at Cronkite News who persevered in telling stories despite all the challenges we faced. It’s an honor to be recognized by the LA Press Club and to know that the city’s top journalists agree that Cronkite students do an incredible job here.

And the program is well positioned to grow.

“With our expansion to the new Herald Examiner Building at the ASU California Center in downtown Los Angeles and the incredible support the university has given to our program, the sky is the limit and I’m excited to lead the charge to win Sun Devils get the recognition they deserve in journalism here in LA, ”said Tayefe Mohajer.

Christina Leonard, editor-in-chief of Cronkite News and professor of practice added:

“We are delighted to see the work of our Cronkite News students recognized – in the student and professional categories – by the LA Press Club. It is an honor to see their work not only showcased in the country’s second largest media market, but also compete with the powers of journalism.

Cronkite Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. also praised the award-winning work of the students.

“These awards show that the journalism produced by Cronkite students is top notch. It reflects the dedication they have to our profession and the dedication our professors have to our students, ”said Batts. “We are grateful to the LA Press Club for recognizing their extraordinary journalism.”

Cronkite winners in professional categories:

Environmental report – print / online

Second Place: Sarah Donahue, Cronkite News / LA Bureau, “Clean energy produced on Navajo lands could help power Los Angeles”

Solutions Journalism – Single Series or Story

Third Place: Sarah Donahue, Cronkite News / LA Bureau, “Urban farm provides residents of homeless shelters with good food and opportunities”

Cronkite winners in student categories:

Best Feature Film Writing, Off-Campus Issues – Print or Online

First place: Sarah Donahue, Cronkite News at ASU, “Urban farm provides residents of homeless shelters with good food and opportunities”

Best Personality Profile, Campus Personalities – Any Platform

Third Place: Kelsey Collesi, Cronkite News / LA Bureau, Coaches of color dominate in the Pac-12

Best TV Report, Podcast or Stream

Third Place: Kelsey Collesi, Cronkite News / LA Bureau, Coaches of color dominate in the Pac-12

Better news writing, off-campus issues – print or online

Third Place: Caroline Yu, Cronkite News / LA Bureau, “Changes in flight paths at Burbank Airport are causing distress in surrounding communities”

Here is the list of Cronkite finalists:

Professional categories:

Scientific reports
Caroline Yu, Cronkite News / LA Office, “Feeding sea urchins could be a way to restore vital west coast kelp forests”

Student categories:

Best News Writing – Print or Online

Sarah Donahue, Cronkite News / LA Office, “Clean energy produced on Navajo lands could help power Los Angeles”

Best Sports / Artistic Writing – Print or Online

Shane Dieffenbach, Cronkite News / LA Office, “Pushing a rock up the hill: Valley Star Johnson’s old tank leads the fight against private prisons”

Best Feature Film Writing, Off-Campus Issues – Print or Online

Alison Cutler, Cronkite News at the ASU / Los Angeles office, “Mothers, Midwives and Mortality: Why Some Black Women Seek a Holistic Approach”


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