Hearst Journalism Awards 2015 national champions

The UNC School of Media and Journalism has won the 2015 national championship in the Hearst Journalism Awards competition – considered the Pulitzers of collegiate journalism.

It’s the school’s 3rd overall national championship since 2010. UNC is the only school to have finished in the top 5 overall every year since 2004.

In 2015, the school finished overall 1st in broadcast, 2nd in multimedia, 2nd in photojournalism and 3rd in writing. Since the addition of the multimedia category in 2008, UNC is the only school to have finished top 3 in all four categories.

Two UNC J-school students won 2015 individual national championships.

  • Carolyn Van Houten, a May 2015 graduate from Fountain, N.C., won the national championship in photojournalism that comes with a $5,000 award.
  • Charles J. Shelton, May 2015 graduate from Greenville, N.C., won the national championship in radio broadcast news that comes with a $5,000 award.

Three others posted top 3 individual national honors in the radio, TV and multimedia categories of the Hearst competitions.

  • Susanna Black, May 2015 graduate from Concord, N.C., took 2nd  place in the TV broadcast news category that comes with a $4,000 award.
  • Parth Shah, May 2015 graduate from Chapel Hill, N.C., took 3rd place in the radio broadcast news category that comes with a $3,000 award.
  • Emily Rhyne, a senior from Wilson, N.C., took 3rd place in the multimedia category that comes with a $3,000 award.

Shelton also won the $1,000 award for best use of radio for news coverage, and Rhyne won the $1,000 award for best multimedia story of the year.

Callaghan O'Hare, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, was awarded $1,500 as a finalist in the photojournalism competition.

The championships are the culmination of the 2014-15 awards program, which are held in 108 member colleges and universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs. 

From June 1-4, 29 finalists participated in the championships in San Francisco, where they demonstrated their writing, photography, radio, television and multimedia skills in rigorous on-the-spot assignments chosen by media professionals who judged the competitions. Winners were announced during the final awards ceremony on June 4 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960 to foster journalism education through scholarships for outstanding college students. Since its inception, the program has distributed more than $12 million in scholarships and grants for the very best work by student journalists.