2005 College Contest Results

General Reporting

First Place: Charlotte Hsu, Ari Bloomekatz, Lee Bialik and Daniel Miller, UCLA Daily Bruin

Honorable Mention: Ilan Brat, The State Press, Arizona State University

Hsu, Bloomekatz, Bialik and Miller win first place with “Deconstructing Weyburn Terrace,” which examined problems with flooding, insects and poor management at a large, new apartment complex run by the University of California at Los Angeles.

“This is a thorough, important piece of investigative work,” the judge wrote. “The lead author, Charlotte Hsu, is to be commended for her reporting and writing. The story and accompanying material paints a clear picture of big problems for hundreds of UCLA grad students. The description of the inadequacies of this brand-new housing complex conjures an image of a rundown slum, not a $100 million new facility.

“Hsu has a very good blend of first-hand descriptions, interviews with affected students and interviews with persons of authority. It’s clear that at the time of the report little was being done on behalf of the students. Hsu’s article is without question a call to action. I must also commend the impact of the presentation. The photography complements the text well. Key facts and dates are pulled out and highlighted effectively. And the brief sidebars of individual students’ problem-ridden apartments are quick and compelling reads. This is a quality piece of work overall.”

Honorable mention goes to Brat for “Always Under Surveillance.”

“This story is a detailed discussion of the use of surveillance cameras on the campus of Arizona State University,” the judge wrote. “The author, Ilan Brat, reported the subject thoroughly and writes authoritatively. This is important reporting on an issue with clear freedom-of-speech implications.”

Judged by Dave Wilson, managing editor, Broward and sports, for The Miami Herald. 5 entries.

Feature Writing

First Place: Linh Bui, The State Press, Arizona State University

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Girardin, The State Press, Arizona State University

Bui captures first place with “Dennis: Food critic, nuisance, Tempe icon.”

â”Bui has managed to find the endearing side of a pain-in-the-ass self-appointed food critic in Tempe,” the judge wrote. “That’s no small feat, given that many of the restaurant owners that Bui interviewed note that Dennnis Skolnick (he awarded himself an extra ‘n,’ kind of like a Michelin star) pans places that don’t give him free food. By apparently spending a significant amount of time with Skolnick, Bui was able to create a portrait in which readers start to like him, in spite of themselves.”

Honorable mention goes to Girardin for “Obsession?”

“Girardin does one thing that many college journalists don’t: she uses more than one source,” the judge wrote. “In her empathetic profile of an ASU student who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, Girardin calls in experts to not only define the disease but to explain what the malady is and how it gives the afflicted great powers of concentration. Through the subject of her profile, Girardin shows us that people with Asperger’s Syndrome are struggling not necessarily for understanding but for acceptance – an aspiration that anyone can identify with.”

Judged by Paul Clark, pop culture reporter and assistant features editor for The Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times. 9 entries.

Sports Reporting

First Place: Matt Schubert, The State Press, Arizona State University

Honorable Mention: Christopher Drexel, Jeremy Cliff and Brian Gomez, The State Press, Arizona State University

Schubert earns first place with a profile of Pat Murphy, Arizona State’s baseball coach.

“Very comprehensive story on an interesting subject,” the judge wrote. “Well-researched piece that details the good and bad of a somewhat controversial coach. Good job of getting a hold of Craig Counsell (Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman who played for Murphy at Notre Dame).”

Honorable mention goes to Drexel, Cliff and Gomez for a package on Arizona State’s embarrassing loss to USC, college football’s eventual national champions.

“The lede catches your eye, and the story moves fast for a gamer,” the judge wrote.

Judged by Liz Merritt, reporter, The Kansas City Star. 6 entries.