Two students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications recently earned recognition in the annual Hearst Journalism Awards Audio Competition.
Hallie Gutzwiller, a senior broadcasting major from Elm Creek, earned first place and a $3,000 prize. Holly Fischer, a senior broadcasting, political science, and advertising and public relations major from Beatrice, received a certificate of merit for placing eighth.
The competition recognizes outstanding undergraduate work in audio journalism, podcasting and other forms of audio storytelling. The competition drew entries from across the country, with 20 finalists selected from hundreds of submissions.
Gutzwiller’s winning submissions were “Up in Flames: Wildfires in Nebraska 2022,” on the effects of wildfires on Nebraska communities, and “Water Preservation,” about the importance of water conservation in the state. The judges praised Gutzwiller’s storytelling and reporting skills, calling her pieces “compelling and informative.”
Fischer’s entries, “Parental Consent and Censorship” and “Drought Resiliency in Nebraska,” explored the challenges faced by young people and farmers in Nebraska. The judges commended Fischer’s strong reporting and use of natural sound to bring the stories to life.
Gutzwiller has also qualified for the National Audio Championship, along with four other finalists from the Hearst Audio Competition.
“Hallie and Holly are shining examples of the outstanding work being produced by our students,” said Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. “We’re thrilled to see them recognized for their talent and dedication.”
The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960 to provide support, encouragement and recognition to journalism students across the United States. Today, the program awards more than $700,000 in scholarships and grants annually, and its competitions in writing, photojournalism and broadcasting are considered among the most prestigious in the country.