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2022 Mark of Excellence
National Winners and Finalists

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2022 Regional Winners and Finalists

Click on each region's number to read a press release that contains a complete list of winners and finalists from that region.

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The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce the national winners of the 2022 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcast during 2022.

The awards honor the best in student journalism. As such, judges are directed to choose only those entries which they feel demonstrate outstanding work worthy of a national honor. Judges can choose up to one national winner and two national finalists (runners-up) in each category. Any category not listed has no national winner.

Beginning with the 2022 awards, some categories are national only, with no regional competitions. Category descriptions for all of 2022's awards can be found here.

School divisions are based on student enrollment, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment. Schools with more than 10,000 students are designated as large schools.

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.


Print/Online (including magazines)

Breaking News Reporting (Large, 10k+ students)

National Winner

Arizona officials decry, delight in Supreme Court ending abortion rights

Neetish Basnet, Cronkite News

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Coverage of fatal hit-and-run accident near UC campus," by 4, Emma Balcom, Zachary Jarrell, Allison Kiehl, Zurie Pope
  • National Finalist: "East Side community members mourn victims of racially motivated mass shooting," by 1, Grant Ashley, Moaz Elazzazi, Kyle Nguyen, Kayla Estrada

Breaking News Reporting (Small, under 10k students)

National Winner

Transgender sports bill receives further testimony at Senate Education Committee

Taylor Wooten, TheStatehouseFile.com

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Residents decry placing another sexually violent predator in Borrego Springs," by 11, Angelina Hicks

General News Reporting (Large, 10k+ students)

National Winner

Transgender health care investigation, reaction

Staff, The Vanderbilt Hustler

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "Hiring shortages, 70-hour weeks: How the Trojan Horse is surviving the Great Resignation," by 5, Carson TerBush
  • National Finalist: "Three SDSU football players accused of raping an underaged girl in a civil lawsuit," by 11, Christian Houser

General News Reporting (Small, under 10k students)

National Winner

Thomas Minar series

Alexa Shrake, Isaac Gleitz, Sydney Byerly, TheStatehouseFile.com

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "911 call fallout at Fuente Nueva School," by 11, Ricardo Lara Nava, Kianna Znika, Frank Rocha
  • National Finalist: "Envisioning a more resilient Eckerd," by 3, Carter Weinhofer

In-Depth Reporting (Large, 10k+ students)

National Winner

I'm tired’: Teachers face mental health crisis due to low pay, pandemic stress, scant support

Cami Parrish, Cronkite News

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "A ‘wicked problem’: Policies, technology change the agriculture industry, rural life," by 7, Jessica Blake
  • National Finalist: "Buffalo-based housing project fails to open on time, displaces UB students for nearly a semester," by 1, Kyle Nguyen

In-Depth Reporting (Small, under 10k students)

National Winner

PBC small businesses: Post-COVID-19 era

Brenna Brown , The Beacon Today

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "Advocates rethink antebellum tourism," by 12, Domonique Tolliver
  • National Finalist: "No home in this world," by 11, Esteban Preciado

Feature Writing (Large, 10k+ students

National Winner

A Klansman's sons seek to understand and redress his wrongs

Josh Archote, Multiple via the LSU Manship News Service

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "She dreams of Afghanistan," by 5, Lauren Ulrich
  • National Finalist: "'No other option': Afghans put trust in strangers from Missouri before harrowing escape to safety," by 7, Eli Hoff

Feature Writing (Small, under 10k students)

National Winner

Boston buries its Black music

Brandon Hill, The Hoopla (Self-Published Newsletter)

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Gorillas in our midst," by 11, Esteban Preciado

Sports Writing (Large, 10k+ students)

National Winner

Name, image, likeness: Leveling the playing field for female athletes

Lindsay Wyson, Universe Live Sports

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Anatomy of a rebuild: Allen football working to raise program from ground up," by 3, Michael Sauls
  • National Finalist: "‘The program is doomed’: Players say Indiana volleyball coach Steve Aird created a culture of fear," by 5, Evan Gerike

Sports Writing (Small, under 10k students)

National Winner

For minor leaguers, playing professional baseball is not living the dream

Catherine Galanti, The Los Angeles Loyolan

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Elon baseball player deals with diabetes on, off the diamond," by 2, Jacob Kisamore

Editorial/Opinion Writing

National Winner

Editorials

The Crimson Editorial Board, The Harvard Crimson

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3 | Link 4 | Link 5 | Link 6

  • National Finalist: "Dear Vanderbilt community," by 12, Zoe Abel
  • National Finalist: "Editorials," by 11, Camila A. Gonzalez

Best Student Magazine

National Winner

Bread and Circus

Staff, Talon Magazine

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "KRNL Lifestyle + Fashion," by 5, Staff
  • National Finalist: "Textura Guatemala," by 6, Textura Guatemala staff

General Column Writing (Large, 10k+ students)

National Winner

Mental health columns

Renee Walker, The Poly Post

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "Cushman: Campus safety, Abortion trigger law, Pornography course," by 9, KC Ellen Cushman
  • National Finalist: "Lutalica," by 3, Sophia Ling, Sophia Peyser and Brammhi Balarajan

Sports Column Writing

National Winner

Caleb's columns from the sports desk

Caleb Nguyen, The Poly Post

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "Neutrality, the transfer portal and a title run," by 8, Joe Pratt, Pierson Luscy, George Schroeder
  • National Finalist: "Commodore Brunch," by 12, Bryce Smith

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Large, 10k+ students)

National Winner

The Independent Florida Alligator

Staff, The Independent Florida Alligator

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "The Corsair," by 11, Katheryn Menendez, Editor in Chief and staff.
  • National Finalist: "The Harvard Crimson," by 1, Staff of The Harvard Crimson

Corbin Gwaltney Award for Best All-Around Student Newspaper (Small, under 10k students)

National Winner

The Maroon

Staff, The Maroon

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "The Pendulum," by 2, Elon News Network Staff
  • National Finalist: "The Gonzaga Bulletin," by 10, The Gonzaga Bulletin staff, Vinny Saglimbeni, Lillian Piel

Best Affiliated Web Site

National Winner

The Maroon Online

Staff, The Maroon Online

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "The Daily Northwestern website," by 5, Staff of The Daily Northwestern
  • National Finalist: "The Shorthorn's website," by 8, The Shorthorn staff

Best Independent Online Student Publication

National Winner

The 5 O'Clock Project

The 5 O'Clock Project Staff, The 5 O'Clock Project

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Connected by Change," by 10, Montana Native News Team
  • National Finalist: "CU Independent," by 9, CU Independent staff

Photography/Videography/Art/Multimedia

Breaking News Photography

National Winner

Mill fire

Anthony Scilla, The Kent Stater/KentWired

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Chinese student vigil," by 1, Zhixiang Wang
  • National Finalist: "'No photo'," by 8, Christine Vo

General News Photography

National Winner

Roe v Wade Protest

Grace Smith, The Daily Iowan

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Galbreath protest," by 10, Antonio Ibarra
  • National Finalist: "Renaissance festival returns," by 11, Troy Hill

Feature Photography

National Winner

GU student doubles as route-setter at Wild Walls Rock Climbing

Chiana McInelly, The Gonzaga Bulletin

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Sun star," by 3, David Gray

Photo Illustration

National Winner

Brain drain

Maggie Getzin, The Ball State Daily News

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "International athletes," by 10, Ellie Black, Charlie Rogers
  • National Finalist: "The Timeless Issue center spread," by 9, Sydney Stam, Axe Tang

Sports Photography

National Winner

ASU gymnastics home win

Jason White, The State Press

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Bonner's contested layup," by 8, Ken Prabhakar

Editorial Cartooning

National Winner

Giving students a voice

Liam Simonelli, The College VOICE

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

Best Use of Multimedia

National Winner

Reflections of the L.A. uprising

JOVRNALISM Staff, USC JOVRNALISM

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3 | Link 4 | Link 5 | Link 6 | Link 7

  • National Finalist: "Aloha ʻāina," by 1, Kate Brennan
  • National Finalist: "Athletes who grabbed the bag," by 10, Will Matthews

News Videography

National Winner

Operation Island Rescue

Chris Will, WUFT News

Read Online: Link 1

Feature Videography

National Winner

One family flees Texas in search of safer climate for their transgender daughter

Olivia Yarvis, Texas Tribune, Texas Tribune

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Interwoven," by 10, Austin Amestoy
  • National Finalist: "Lives in limbo: How the Mexican government has failed to solve the migrant crisis in Tapachula," by 11, Drake Presto

Sports Videography

National Winner

Never stand still

Manuel Serrano, Averi Coppa, The NewsHouse

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Power in the pool," by 10, Mitchell Delmage

Data Visualization

National Winner

The Daily Northwestern’s live midterm coverage

Angeli Mittal and Zoey Soh, The Daily Northwestern

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2

  • National Finalist: "Gaslit," by 11, Staff of Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University
  • National Finalist: "With improved homecoming performances, Columbia football looks to continue success," by 1, Rebecca Wachen, Andrew Park

Photo Essay/Slideshow

National Winner

In focus: Migrants languish in Mexico's chaotic immigration system

Taylor Bayly, Cronkite Borderlands Project

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Rich Strike wins 148th running of the Kentucky Derby," by 5, Jack Weaver
  • National Finalist: "Slideshow: Poteet Strawberry Festival returns for 75th anniversary," by 8, Amber Esparza

Illustration

National Winner

Erasing Russia

Trevor Brighton, The Post

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Black directors," by 8, Cristina Del Coro Trio
  • National Finalist: "GOP weapon," by 12, Patrick Hamilton

Radio News Reporting

National Winner

Wildfires burn across Nebraska

Hallie Gutzwiller, 90.3 KRNU

Read Online:

  • National Finalist: "Northwestern rocket goes to space," by 5, Sara Kadoura
  • National Finalist: "Food Rx," by 10, Izaak Opatz

Radio Feature

National Winner

Election translation

Autriya Maneshni, Cronkite News

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "How checking the felony box hurts potential renters," by 10, Elinor Smith
  • National Finalist: "Throughout September and October, monarch butterflies will be migrating across Texas...," by 8, Sheridan Wood

Radio In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

Mobile residents learn the history of the last known slave ship in Alabama

Jared McBride, TROY Public Radio

Read Online:

  • National Finalist: "Fines, fines, fines," by 6, Chandler Brindley
  • National Finalist: "Advocates urge Missourians to remember that abortions aren’t just a cisgender women’s issue," by 7, Abigail Ruhman

Radio Sports Reporting

National Winner

‘B Daht,” the Dean Dome’s new arena host, hopes to fire up the fans – and spread a positive message

Daniel Myrick, Carolina Connection

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "The Show-Me Swine Races," by 7, Briana Heaney
  • National Finalist: "Quidditch levels the playing field for all genders," by 1, Sophia Moore

Best All-Around Radio Newscast

National Winner

Carolina Connection

Carolina Connection Staff, Carolina Connection

Read Online: Link 1

Podcast (Narrative)

National Winner

Home ed

Mary Steffenhagen, NYCity News Service

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "All I can do Is wait ," by 11, Athena Ankrah
  • National Finalist: "Beneath the Surface: The Dalkon Shield," by 2, Jackie Llanos, Madyson Fitzgerald, Caio Rodolfo

Podcast (Conversational)

National Winner

Pony out: An SMU transfer story

Simone Melvin, SMU-The Daily Campus

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Speaking from a Bilingual Brain and Multicultural Heart ," by 9, Juanita Hurtado
  • National Finalist: "The Extras," by 3, Marissa Schabes

Television

Television Breaking News Reporting

National Winner

Penn State cancels controversial event over security concerns

Isabella Leahy, Matthew Noah, WPSU

Read Online: Link 1

Television General News Reporting

National Winner

Three Years On: What has changed with hazing culture at WSU?

Albert James, Murrow News 8

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Against all odds," by 3, Sophia Vitello
  • National Finalist: "Evanston fire department requests funds for third ambulance," by 5, Andrew Rowan

Television Feature Reporting

National Winner

Native fish keepers

Henry Pree, Montana PBS

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2

  • National Finalist: "Paying forward the American dream," by 1, Louise Rath
  • National Finalist: "More than meets the eye," by 12, Aria Pons

Television In-Depth Reporting

National Winner

Crypto's final frontier

Austin Hedgecoth, DCTV

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Unseen Engines," by 10, Unseen Engines Production Team
  • National Finalist: "What are the odds?," by 4, Brendan Schabath, Bella Gorisek

Television Sports Reporting

National Winner

Jeremiah Minkel

Nyah Adams, Aiden Farrell, UTVS Television

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Sports Final: IC mental health performance," by 1, Josh Hobbs

Best All-Around Television Newscast

National Winner

NewsVision

Tyler Walsh, Spencer Askinazy, Ben Ezzy, Katelyn Kucharski, UMTV

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "WVU News Special Edition: Mental Health in America, a Growing Crisis," by 4, Chloe Snodgrass
  • National Finalist: "Northwestern News Report Election Show 2022," by 5, Northwestern News Network

Best All-Around Television News Magazine

National Winner

PrimeTime

Staff, UMTV

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Cache Rendezvous at Special Collections," by 9, Yvonne Bass
  • National Finalist: "West Virginia Today Episode 3," by 4, Makenna Leisifer

All Platforms

Cultural Criticism

National Winner

Theater commentary

Vivienne N. Germain, The Harvard Crimson

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

Arts/Entertainment/Fashion Journalism

National Winner

It may look like Fallingwater, but Lynn Hall has its own story to tell

Alicia Chiang, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Read Online: Link 1

  • National Finalist: "Nothing is fair in art and war," by 3, Samuel Shafiro
  • National Finalist: "Against the current," by 7, Austin Woods

Food/Restaurant Journalism

National Winner

Meals under $10 for the hungry college student series

Athena Cheris, The Los Angeles Loyolan

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2 | Link 3

  • National Finalist: "Peaches: The forgotten fruit ," by 9, Milo Gladstein
  • National Finalist: "More than a meal: Omaha couple unites connection with cooking," by 7, Audrey Hertel

Collaborative Journalism--National Only

National Winner

Growing older

Fellows and Faculty of the Global Reporting Program., Global Reporting Program/The Globe and Mail

Read Online: Link 1

Science/Environmental/Climate Reporting National Only

National Winner

The business of recycling: How SC recycles and why it can be so complicated

Stephen Pastis, The Carolina News & Reporter

Read Online: Link 1

Retail/Small Business Reporting -- National Only

National Winner

Small cannabis entrepreneurs say they can’t compete against ‘Walmart of weed’

Josephine Walker, VCU Capital News Service

Read Online: Link 1

Investigative Reporting -- National Only

National Winner

A secret at the hearth of Adams House

Simon J. Levien, The Harvard Crimson

Read Online: Link 1 | Link 2

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