Young journalists earn national recognition
Two young women with Tonganoxie ties have earned honors in an annual collegiate writing contest.
Marissa Stephenson, daughter of R.J. and Karen Stephenson, Tonganoxie, has been awarded 11th place honors in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition of the 46th annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program.
Stephenson graduated from Kansas University in 2005 with bachelor's degrees in journalism and mass communications, with an emphasis in news and information. The Tonganoxie High School graduate earned the honor for writing "How to be Whole Again," which was published in April 2005 in the University Daily Kansan, KU's student newspaper.
In addition, Nicole Kelley, who will be a senior at KU next year, finished fourth in the spot-news writing category. Kelley, who is from Topeka, is working this summer as an intern for The Mirror newspaper in Tonganoxie.
Kelley won an award certificate and $750 for her story about the March 12 microburst that caused $6 million in damages to the KU campus. The story was written for the next day's University Daily Kansan despite the loss of power and, therefore, use of the newsroom's networked computers.
The Hearst competition often is referred to as "the Pulitzers of college journalism."
The KU journalism school finished third in the nation in the competition.
"I am very proud of our students whose work did so well in this competition," said Ann Brill, dean of the journalism school. "It shows that KU journalism students are among the best in the country."
Malcolm Gibson, general manager of the University Daily Kansan, emphasized the entries were students' work.
"It should make us all proud, though, for faculty, our involvement is quite removed," he said. "What makes this so special is that all the work recognized was produced -- from beginning to end, from concept to reporting to editing to publication -- wholly by students. In some situations, professionals or faculty are intimately involved. Not here."