Expansive, in-depth project was produced by a team of 38 journalism students
Carnegie-Knight News21, the multi-university, in-depth journalism collaborative based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has won the Student Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting for a third consecutive year.
The award brings to five the total of Student Murrow Awards the Cronkite School has won — the most of any journalism program in the country.
This year’s winning project is “Hate in America,” a package of multimedia stories focused on acts of intolerance, racism and hate crimes across the country. It also received a 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the college category.
The project was reported and produced by a team of 38 journalism students from 19 universities who traveled to 36 states, including a 7,000-mile road trip around the country, conducted nearly 300 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of court documents, FBI data and state and federal statutes. Their analysis of national crime statistics concluded that there were more than 2.4 million hate crimes committed across the U.S. between 2012 and 2016.
Portions of the project were published and aired by news organizations across the country. This year’s publishing partners included USA Today, the Center for Public Integrity, ProPublica, The Arizona Republic, The Des Moines Register, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Oregon Public Broadcasting.
The students were supported by fellowships from national foundations that include the Hearst Foundations, the John S. and James Knight Foundation, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, in addition to a number of individual and university sponsors.
Allie Bice, a Hearst Journalism Foundations fellow, noted that she and other students spent eight months researching, reporting and producing the “Hate in America” project.
“I like to think we channeled the qualities of Murrow in our day-to-day work ethic,” she said. “We were filled with curiosity and determination to dive deeper into this difficult subject. We grappled with incomplete FBI data and traveled across the country to interview victims and perpetrators of hate. It feels great to have our hard work pay off, but we wouldn't have been able to do any of it if it weren't for so many brave sources willing to share their stories with us.”
The 2019 winners will be recognized at the Edward R. Murrow Awards black-tie event hosted by the Radio Television Digital News Association on Oct. 24 in New York City.
The Carnegie-Knight News21 program is an initiative that brings top journalism students from across the country to the Cronkite School each year to report on an issue of national significance. Previous projects have spotlighted issues ranging from water safety and gun rights and regulations to veterans’ issues and marijuana legalization.
“I’m continually in awe of the work by young reporters in the Carnegie-Knight News21 program,” said News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel. “This project on hate crimes in America was particularly challenging. The students navigated often difficult and uncomfortable situations, yet they excelled at telling great stories.”
Established in 2015 by the Radio Television Digital News Association, the Student Murrow Awards celebrate excellence in student journalism at the collegiate and high school levels. Unlike the professional Edward R. Murrow Awards, which are presented to news organizations, the Student Murrows are awarded to individuals in five categories — audio newscast, audio reporting, video newscast, video reporting and digital reporting.
The RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization exclusively serving the electronic news profession. It has been honoring outstanding achievements in professional journalism with the Edward R. Murrow Awards since 1971. Murrow Award recipients demonstrate the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard for the electronic news profession.
2018 News21 students, their universities and their named fellowships:
- Allie Bice, ASU, Hearst Foundations Fellow
- Abby Bitterman, University of Oklahoma, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
- Penelope Blackwell, Morgan State University
- Garet Bleir, Syracuse University
- Brandon Bounds, Kent State University
- Scott Bourque, ASU, Hearst Foundations Fellow
- Brittany Brown, University of Mississippi
- Lillianna Byington, George Washington University
- Brendan Campbell, ASU, Reynolds Foundation Fellow
- Andrew Capps, University of Tennessee, John and Patty Williams Fellow
- Renata Cló, ASU, Hearst Foundations Fellow
- Rosanna Cooney, Dublin City University, Veronica Guerin Dublin City University Fellow
- Catherine Devine, Dublin City University, Veronica Guerin Ireland Funds Independent News and Media Fellow
- Tessa Diestel, University of Colorado Boulder
- Alexis Egeland, ASU, Hearst Foundations Fellow
- Katie Gagliano, Louisiana State University
- Kianna Gardner, ASU, Don Bolles/Arizona Republic News21 Fellow
- Brooks Hepp, DePauw University, Myrta Pulliam Fellow
- Ashley Hopko, University of Colorado Boulder
- Kaylen Howard, University of North Texas, Dallas Morning News Fellow
- Jimmie Jackson, ASU, Hearst Foundations Fellow
- Storme Jones, University of Oklahoma, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
- Emma Keith, University of Oklahoma, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
- Shelby Knowles, University of Texas at Austin
- Carley Lanich, Indiana University, Charles Cushman Fellow
- Ashley Mackey, ASU, Knight Foundation Fellow
- Tilly Marlatt, DePauw University, Myrta Pulliam Fellow
- Lenny Martinez Dominguez, Syracuse University
- Angel Mendoza, ASU, Reynolds Foundation Fellow
- Emmanuel Morgan, Elon University
- Connor Leavy Murphy, ASU, Reynolds Foundation Fellow
- Justin Parham, ASU, Reynolds Foundation Fellow
- Jasmine Putney, University of Iowa, Murray Endowment Fellow
- Megan Ross, University of Oklahoma, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
- Daniel Smitherman, ASU, Reynolds Foundation Fellow
- Bryce Spadafora, St. Bonaventure University
- Rebecca Walters, University of Oklahoma, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Fellow
- Anya Zoledziowski, University of British Columbia
Past Cronkite School/News21 Student Murrow winners
2018: Excellence in Digital Reporting: Arizona State University/News21: “Troubled Waters”
2017: Excellence in Digital Reporting: Arizona State University/News21: “Voting Wars”
2017: Excellence in Video Newscast: Windsor Smith and Madison Romine: Cronkite News: Feb. 17, 2016
2015: Excellence in Video: Erin Patrick O’Connor/News21: “Gun Wars”