Student win SPJ awards

The Society of Professional Journalists has announced the national winners of the 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2016.

The awards honor the best in student journalism. Winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first-place in one of the SPJ’s 12 regional competitions. Each first-place regional winner advanced to the national competition.

Sports Photography, Large School Division
National Winner: “Football Touchdown,” by Austin Yattoni

Photo Illustration, Large School Division
National Finalist: “Homecoming Guide Cover,” by Michelle Tam and Hannah Auten

Television Sports Reporting
National Finalist: “Memorial Soccer Match,” by Cassie Chaplinsky

Best Use of Multimedia
National Finalist: “#BlackScienceMatters,” by University of Illinois Multimedia Journalism Students

Students Earn Awards

The Students in Illinois News Broadcasters Association presented four awards to U of I journalism students on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at its convention in Urbana.

SINBA awarded first place awards to: Libby Foster, Zila Renfro and the crew of UI-7 News for a spring 2016 magazine show.
Senior Mike O'Neill won a second place sports reporting award for a video story about Champaign's Finke family and basketball.

Libby was presented first place SINBA award for best "use of sound" in an audio report for her journalism class.
Zila was presented a first place SINBA award for best audio reporting/reporter for her audio journalism.

The UI-7 News team won first place in the "Best Soft Television" category for a spring 2016 magazine show titled "Sounds of CU." Producers for that show were Jasmine Dinh and Joey Gelman. Director was Cassie Chaplinsky. Anchors were Mia Kavensky and Cassidy Williams.

"Sounds of CU" focused stories on Champaign-Urbana people who are extremely passionate about music and performing.

SINBA is a student organization that falls under the guidance of INBA, the Illinois News Broadcasters Association. INBA is one of the oldest and largest broadcast news organizations in the United States.

Also at INBA, WILL radio journalist Brian Moline was elected to the INBA board of directors.

Crystal Pillar for Best College Student TV Newscast
University of Illinois broadcast journalism students received a 2014 Crystal Pillar Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-America region at the Mid-America Gala held September 27, 2014 in Kansas City. 

The students won for the November 19, 2013 edition of UI-7 News, which among other things, extensively covered the Gifford, IL tornado.

NATAS is the same organization that presents the prestigious Emmy Awards to professional broadcasters and video producers.

The Crystal Pillar is NATAS highest award for high school and college student television productions. This is the first NATAS award for a student TV newscast at the U of I and the second straight year U of I broadcast students have won a Crystal Pillar Award. 

This year’s Crystal Pillar winners are all broadcast journalism students in the Class of 2014. They include: newscast producer Joanna Nowak; newscast director Matt Maniscalco; news anchors Samantha Chatman and Grace Haka; weathercaster Michelle Madaras and Brian Siegel with sports. 

The students were taught by Department of Journalism lecturers Ken Erdey and John Paul.

International Recognition for Journalism Student's Work
The Globe and Mail, Canada’s “newspaper of record,” has published a multimedia story produced by College of Media Journalism student Anna Hecht.

Hecht’s three minute video, produced as a final project for her Multimedia Reporting class (JOUR215) during the Spring 2014 semester, tells the story of her sister Heidi’s quest to become one of the first humans to visit the planet Mars. 

“I chose this story because I felt it covered a lot of important ground, both on a national and on a personal level,” Anna said.  "My sister, Heidi, 32, has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Despite this, she is incredibly intelligent, independent, driven and kind-hearted. All too often, persons with disabilities get grouped into a category and aren't seen as individuals. This video allows Heidi to express herself and talk about her condition, while shedding light on her most recent accomplishment: making it to Round Three of the Mars One application process.”

Mars One is a non-profit foundation with the goal of establishing the first human settlement on Mars, in 2025. After starting with more than 200,000 applicants, the group has narrowed the pool of candidates for its proposed mission to around 700.  Heidi Hecht is one of these 700 candidates. Mission planners envision a permanent settlement on the planet; there are no plans to return the astronauts to Earth.

"As for my feelings about Heidi going to Mars, it's so far in the future that as of now, it just doesn't quite seem real. But, it is so awesome to see her get excited about something and to have a sense of hope. The fact that she has made it this far in the process has given her a new sense of confidence.”

Anna Hecht, of Roanoke, Ill, is a James Scholar and has been on the Dean’s List each of her four years at the university.  She is the first-ever recipient of both the G.L. Wagners Journalism Scholarship and the Charla Krupp Internship Scholarship.  She studies multimedia storytelling with Assistant Professor of Journalism Charles “Stretch” Ledford.




WILL and partner win Murrow Awards in 3 categories

Students win INBA awards
University of Illinois students won eight awards, including two first places, in this year’s SINBA (Students in Illinois News Broadcasters Association) competition. The awards were announced Saturday, April 12 at the spring INBA competition in Peoria.

The winners are as follows:
  • IST PLACE, Outstanding Radio News Reporting: Lise Graham

  • 3RD PLACE, Outstanding Radio News Reporting: Bria Purdiman

  • ​2ND PLACE, Outstanding Radio Newscast: UI-7 Radio News

  • 2ND PLACE, Outstanding Use of Sound: Lise Graham

  • 2ND PLACE, Outstanding Soft Radio Program: Illini Drive (WPGU/Daily Illini)

  • 1ST PLACE, Outstanding TV Sports Reporting: Matt Maniscalco

  • 3RD PLACE, Outstanding TV Newscast: UI-7 News

  • 2ND PLACE, Outstanding Soft TV Program: UI-7 News magazine program

Students win SPJ awards
University of Illinois students won nine awards, including six first places, in this year’s Society of Professional Journalists Region 5 Mark of Excellence competition. The awards were announced Saturday, April 12 at the Region 5 SPJ conference in Chicago. 

The winners are as follows:

  • 1ST PLACE: Television Breaking News Reporting: Grace Haka, UI-7 News

  • 1ST PLACE: Feature Photography (university with 10,000+ students): Kelly Hickey, Daily Illini

  • FINALIST: Best All-Around Daily Student Paper: Daily Illini (Darshan Patel, Editor-in-Chief)

  • 1ST PLACE: Sports Photography (university with 10,000+ students): Brenton Tse, Daily Illini

  • FINALIST: Best All-Around Television Newscast: UI-7 News

  • 1ST PLACE: Breaking News Photography (university with 10,000+ students): Brenton Tse, Daily Illini

  • 1ST PLACE: In-Depth Reporting (university with 10,000+ students): Melanie Stone, Daily Illini

  • 1ST PLACE: Radio News Reporting: Lise Graham, UI-7 Radio News

  • FINALIST: General Column Writing (university with 10,000+ students): Melanie Stone, Daily Illini

The SPJ Region 5 Mark of Excellence competition recognizes the best of student journalism in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. First place winners now go on to the national Mark of Excellence competition.

Hettinger named among top 10 winners in Hearst Awards Program
Junior Johnathan Hettinger has been named one of the top 10 winners in sports writing in the 54th annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program.

Hettinger’s entry from the Daily Illini focused on basketball player Kersten Magrum’s injuries. Read the story here.

Learn more about the award here.