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Student Journalists Win Major Media Awards

Students and alumni of the Hofstra School of Communication recently won several prestigious awards from top media organizations for their work as student journalists.

“At the Hofstra School of Communication, we take pride in the quality of our students’ work—in their care and their energy and their passion and their professionalism,” said Dean Evan Cornog. “This group of awards is a welcome recognition of the extraordinary quality of their best work.”

Among the winners:

• Two students and two graduates won 2012 Mark of Excellence awards, which honors the best in collegiate journalism, from the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ):

General News Reporting
First Place: “A Look at Nassau and Suffolk County’s Layoff Casualties” by Francis Berkman ’12

Online Feature Reporting
Second Place: “Sandy hits close to home for Hofstra student reporter” by Kristen Maldonado ’12

Online Feature Reporting
First Place: “The Planet of the Octopuses” by Max Knoblauch ’14

Online Feature Reporting
Third Place: “Hurricane Sandy Hit…Mineola Hit Harder” by Jeanine Russaw ’15

The awards were for SPJ’s Region 1, which comprises Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and central and eastern Pennsylvania, and were divided into categories based on school enrollment size. First-place winners will move on to the national Mark of Excellence competition among category winners from the 12 SPJ regions.

• The Fair Media Council’s 2013 Folio Award for Best Newscast was won by campus station WRHU 88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University for its “Newsline” program (producer/anchor: Rick Rissetto ’13, anchor:Shannan Ferry ’14, engineer: Marisa Spano ‘14).

The Folio Award is given for work that impacts the local community, and WRHU’s award was particularly hailed as an “upset” win because student journalists beat out professional radio outlets. While WRHU’s “Newsline” program covers all areas of general news and entertainment, the lead stories in the winning submission dealt with Hurricane Sandy themes including gas rationing on Long Island, issues with LIPA, and communities affected by the superstorm.

• Journalism major Claudia Balthazar ‘14 is the recipient of a prestigious scholarship from the New York Women in Communication Foundation.

The prize, which was presented during the group’s Matrix Awards ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City this week, recognizes students with academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, honors, as well as participation in school and community-service activities and work experience. Among her many activities on and off-campus, Claudia is president of the Hofstra Association of Black Journalists, a contributing writer for news site The Long Island Report, and also volunteered at Debate 2012 and Alternative Spring Break. Last fall, she was named an Ailes Rising Apprentice, winning a scholarship from Fox News Channel University and internship this summer with Fox News.

The New York Women in Communications Foundation promotes professional advancement among young women entering the industry, and is the largest foundation for communications scholarships for women in the tri-state area.

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