Students win journalism honor

Three students received the Hearst Award, a renowned journalism award that recognizes students with outstanding journalism skills, this school year.

FAMU is no stranger to the Hearst Awards program. The University has ranked top 10 overall in this competition as well as landed the title as the only historically black college or university to win a Hearst Medallion.

“FAMU has by far more Hearst winners than any HBCU,” said journalism professor Joseph Ritchie, who has become the general adviser for students who enter their work into the competition.

“You don’t do a work so it can be in Hearst,” Larche said. “It has to come from your heart. Passion and care is what you have to have because it is not about winning.”

Larche, a senior broadcast journalism student, earned 13th place in the broadcast radio features category with her piece, “Hurricane Katrina: A Survival Story.”

“Being from New Orleans, I felt it was important, as a journalist, to reveal what was going on,” she said.Her piece, which aired on the one year anniversary of the hurricane’s Louisiana landfall, told the stories of FAMU students who were affected by the disaster.

“It was just another venue for FAMU students to tell their stories,” Larche said. “A lot of work is left to be done.”Nicole Bardo-Colon, a senior magazine journalism student, received fifth place in the Hearst’s in-depth category and a $600 scholarship for her piece, “Code of Silence.”

Her story about hazing within black Greek organizations was published in the September/October 2006 issue of Journey magazine.

“This article was a journey in itself,” Bardo-Colon said. “It was so controversial and it was such a hot topic on campus. I spent a lot of time getting important sources, and the psychology aspect is what made it in-depth.”

Bardo-Colon, who is from Jacksonville, was not too abreast on the Hearst Award before she was entered into the competition.”Honestly, I didn’t know a lot about Hearst,” she said. “It looks good to the journalism community, and it shows honor.”

Driadonna Roland, a junior broadcast journalism student from Detroit, won eighth place in the editorial category and received a $500 scholarship.

She won for her opinion piece on the role student media plays on college campuses.

“When I wrote it, I was passionate about the topic,” Roland said. “I had a strong voice and I wasn’t ranting or raving. It was more like an informed opinion.

“It feels good to be recognized and to have someone believe in my work,” said Roland, who became interested in the Hearst competition during a session at the Famuan Boot Camp. “I am very thankful for Professor Ritchie.”

The Hearst program was created in 1960 and is funded by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

The program is open to any undergraduate student majoring in journalism or mass communication and attending one of the schools in the Accredited Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Only two students may be entered in each of the three categories, and because of this limit, student’s work has to be reviewed before it is entered.

The categories include competitions in writing, photojournalism and broadcast news. Each category is broken into more specific sections.

Within each section, the top 10 winners are awarded monetary scholarships, the top 20 award winners are given certificates and the first-place recipient receives a Hearst Medallion Award.