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uring the first decade of the 21st century, students in the College of Communications have compiled record-breaking performances in two major national competitions.

In both the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program and the Dow Jones News Fund Editing Internship Program, Penn State students have consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders.

Previous top-10 placewinners in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program include (left to right): Rachelle Santoro, Brian Chapman, Lauren Antonelli and Wade Malcolm. (Photo by Steve Manuel)

In the Hearst competition, Penn State is the only program in the country to rank in the top five of both the intercollegiate writing and intercollegiate broadcast news during the first decade of the 21st century. In the Dow Jones program, Penn State has had more students—63—accepted for internships than all but one other school.

These competitions provide just one measure of success for the College, and it comes as a result of collaboration and planning by faculty and staff and, of course, the standout efforts of our students. The pages of this special section provide some insights and memories from those involved in Penn State’s performances.


Results: Alone with Top-5 Finishes in Broadcast, Writing The College of Communications is the only program in the country to finish in the top-five standings in intercollegiate writing and intercollegiate broadcast news in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program for the first decade of the 21st century. The Hearst competition often is called “the Pulitzers of college journalism.” The standings are based on total points accumulated in each of the competitions during the 10-year period from contest year 2000-2001 through 2009-2010 by the country’s 110 nationally accredited programs. Penn State finished fourth in both competitions. During the 10-year period, students in the College earned 127 individual top-20 awards in the intercollegiate writing, broadcast, photojournalism and multimedia competitions, with 62 of the finishes in the top 10. All top-10 student winners received scholarships from the Hearst Foundation, with matching grants awarded to the College. “The mark of a strong program is to excel—year after year—in prestigious national competitions,” Doug Anderson, dean of the College, said. “We are particularly proud of the successes our students have enjoyed in the Hearst competition through this century’s first decade.” John Beale, a senior lecturer who coordinates the College’s photojournalism entries, agreed. “Penn State students are proud to have the opportunity to represent their University in the Hearst competition,” he said. “They know that only the very best journalism is submitted for consideration. It’s satisfying to see the quality work produced by our visual journalism students recognized on a national level.” The Hearst Journalism Awards Program, now in its 50th year, is conducted under the auspices of the 110 accredited units of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and is funded by the Hearst Foundation, which provides more than $550,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends each year. From 2000-2001 through 2009-2010, Penn State finished in the top-10 in the final Hearst intercollegiate writing standings nine times, tied for second-most top-10 finishes in the country. From 2000-2001 through 2009-2010, Penn State also finished in the top-10 in the final Hearst intercollegiate broadcast standings nine times, tied for second-most top-10 finishes in the country. “For the past decade, I have seen the quality of our students’ radio work continue to rise, and the Hearst competition has served as an excellent barometer of that achievement,” Bob Richards, the Curley professor of First Amendment studies and coordinator of radio entries, said. “It has been tremendously useful to see our radio news students measure up against other top students nationwide. “As far as student broadcast competitions are concerned, Hearst is the bellwether. “If our radio students fare well in Hearst, I know they will do well in the regional student and professional competitions.” Thor Wasbotten, assistant dean for student media and online operations and coordinator of television entries, said: “Our students look forward to competing in Hearst more than in any other competition. They know they will face the best student reporters in the country, and they want to prove that they belong. In recent years, our television

HEARST FOUNDATION JOURNALISM AWARDS PROGRAM Cumulative standings from 2000-01 through 2009-10—the 21st century’s first decade—based on total points scored in monthly competitions. INTERCOLLEGIATE WRITING 1. Northwestern....................................................................2,784 2. Missouri ...........................................................................2,086 3. Kansas..............................................................................1,995 4. PENN STATE ...................................................1,922 5. Nebraska ..........................................................................1,611 6. Arizona State ....................................................................1,545 7. Indiana .............................................................................1,502 8. North Carolina ..................................................................1,290 9. Iowa .................................................................................1,279 10. Kentucky.........................................................................1,200 INTERCOLLEGIATE BROADCAST 1. Arizona State ....................................................................2,083 2. Syracuse...........................................................................2,028 3. North Carolina ..................................................................1,922 4. PENN STATE ...................................................1,487 5. Florida ..............................................................................1,476 6. Northwestern....................................................................1,170 7. Brigham Young.................................................................1,100 8. Western Kentucky ............................................................1,038 9. Montana ...........................................................................1,025 10. Nebraska ...........................................................................921

Total top-10 yearly finishes in intercollegiate writing and intercollegiate broadcast standings for the first 10 years of the 21st century. 1. PENN STATE .......................................................18 2. Northwestern ........................................................................17 3. Arizona State .........................................................................16 4 (tie). Missouri ........................................................................14 4 (tie). North Carolina ...............................................................14 students have consistently finished in the top-10. Not only do our students belong with the best, they are now helping set the standard for student reporters everywhere.” Penn State’s total top-10 finishes in intercollegiate writing and intercollegiate broadcasting—18—during the decade stand as the most of any school in the country. “I’m pleased with our consistency,” Anderson said. “And to fare so well in both writing and broadcasting is a testament to our balance.” During the 10-year contest period, the Hearst Foundation awarded Penn State scholarships, stipends and matching grants totaling $143,000.


Reflections: Director, Dean, Participants Share Memories JAN WATTEN, Program Director, Hearst Journalism Awards Program This year marks the Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s 50th anniversary, and we have much to celebrate. The program has grown and changed over the past half century, but what has remained constant is its enduring purpose—to inspire excellence in journalism education and to encourage undergraduates to pursue careers in journalism. In 1960, Randolph A. Hearst designed the Journalism Awards Program with the participation of administrators from the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. Since then, the program has expanded from six writing competitions to 14 competitions that include photojournalism, broadcast news and multimedia. Fifty years ago, 46 accredited schools were eligible to participate—and now there are 110 accredited schools across the country eligible to enter the competitions. Each year the program awards up to $550,000 in stipends and scholarships to students and matching grants to schools. Today, the Journalism Awards Program regularly exceeds 1,000 entries in the total monthly competitions. Our panel of professional judges continues to be impressed by the quality of work submitted by entrants from the country’s best journalism schools. Penn State’s College of Communications is a model participant in the program. Over the past decade, under the leadership of Dean Doug Anderson, Penn State journalism students have entered every Hearst monthly competition offered—a feat unrivaled by any other participating journalism school. Penn State’s students consistently enter stellar work and excel in our program. As a result, Penn State ranks in the top 10 of the Hearst intercollegiate competition—which is based on the students’ collective success—year after year. The legacy of Randolph Hearst continues on with the Journalism Awards Program and through the students at Penn State.

DOUG ANDERSON, Dean, College of Communications The five-minute telephone conversation took place 20 years ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was then the director of Arizona State’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication—and I was on the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah, conducting an external review of its mass communications program. When I returned to my hotel room late in the afternoon, I called my office to check in. My assistant, Norma Kennedy, told me that I needed to return a call to Jan Watten, director of the Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program in San Francisco. I immediately called—and Jan said she was pleased to tell me that the Cronkite School had captured first place in the 19891990 intercollegiate writing championships. I had known we were in the running, but I had not expected us to win. I was ecstatic, and I took even greater pride in the news when I learned that we had edged Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, which finished second, and Missouri, which was third. We were an up-and-coming program at ASU—and, suddenly, we found ourselves among the blue bloods in this prestigious national competition. We received our first-place gold medallion

and cash award at a meeting of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication in late April in Los Angeles. I remember well the firm handshake of Randolph A. Hearst, president of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and board chairman of the Hearst Corporation, when he presented the check. He said that the cash prizes “recognize each year those colleges and universities which distinguish themselves among their peers.” I recall the adrenaline rush. What never occurred to me at the time, though, was this: that exciting moment would actually turn out to be the first of many I would experience with the Hearst contest, which was then celebrating its 30th anniversary. We went on to enjoy many rewarding Hearst experiences at ASU throughout the 1990s. And now I feel doubly blessed to have watched the ear-to-ear smiles of more than 125 Penn State students who have earned Hearst contest individual places over the past 10 years. The Hearst Journalism Awards Program will observe—indeed, celebrate—its 50th anniversary this June in New York City. It’s a marvelous program, and I’m not embarrassed to say that I feel the same sense of excitement and satisfaction today when our students excel in it that I did when Jan Watten gave me the great news two decades ago.


Penn State has been well represented in the 21st century’s first decade at the Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s individual championships. Each year, 24 students—from the approximate 1,000 who enter the competition throughout the academic year—qualify for the championships held in June: eight in writing, six in photo, five in radio and five in television. Seven students from the College of Communications—by virtue of their top performances in the individual monthly competitions—earned spots in the finals during the past 10 years: Ryan Hockensmith in writing, 2001; Alexa James in writing, 2002; Bob Viscount in radio, 2003; Halle Stockton in writing, 2007; Angela Haupt in writing, 2008; Aaron Patterson in television, 2008; and Andrew McGill in writing, 2008 and 2010. One of them, Halle Stockton, captured first place in 2007, and another, Andrew McGill, won second place in 2008. During the first nine years of the decade, the individual championships were held in San Francisco. In 2010, in observance of the contest’s golden anniversary, they will be held in New York City. RYAN HOCKENSMITH, 2001 When I arrived at the Hearst individual championships, the only thing I could say for awhile was, “Wow.” San Francisco, Alcatraz, great student journalists everywhere, a competitive environment—it really was a culmination of everything I ever hoped for from going to college. I didn’t yet have my degree, but this felt like a graduation of sorts. I really believe that there’s no better place in the country to get realworld journalism experience than Penn State. From sports to culture, the environment at PSU gives a young reporter every opportunity to find his or her calling. So I got to the finals of the Hearst competition because of the opportunity provided to me by my College. But when I got to San Francisco, I was reminded that there’s a world outside of my own. I may have been a solid sports reporter in State College, Pa., but I was now among some of the nation’s best young writers, from diverse backgrounds, in another time zone and climate, covering varied topics. This was the first big stage I’d ever been on.

And, for the most part, I whiffed. I didn’t win. I didn’t even place in the top three, out of eight. When the winners were announced, and I wasn’t among them, I went back to my hotel room and wrote myself a note. I carry the note around to this day. It reads something like this: “Congratulations on winning awards for your writing and going to San Francisco for the finals of a major competition. But don’t forget what happened while you were there. You need to always do your homework—when you sit down with the director of the Sierra Club, know what the Kyoto Protocol entails and why it was on the front page of every newspaper that week. You must improve your writing— quote, transition, quote isn’t a story formula, it’s a copout to meet a deadline. Mostly, you need to grow. Take what you’ve accomplished and be proud. Take what you didn’t accomplish and go to work. You know enough from this experience to never have to write another apology note to yourself again.” Almost 10 years later, I’m proud to say I haven’t had to. Ryan is an associate editor at ESPN The Magazine. He joined the magazine as an intern in 2001.




I don’t remember who won the Hearst writing championships in San Francisco in 2002. Obviously, it wasn’t me. I can’t recall the list of guest speakers or even the name of that luxurious hotel in San Francisco. The Palace something? What I do remember, to this day, are the words, pictures and sounds of great reporting. Hearst taught me that journalism isn’t about my big byline or anyone else’s. Journalism is about a team of professionals committed to a craft that is far bigger than any one person or news outlet. Though the Hearst experience is fueled by competition, it also encourages cooperation and mentorship. Rookie reporters from schools nationwide make fast friends with seasoned professionals and industry leaders. Contestants from print, television, photo and radio mingle throughout the championships, reminding everyone that journalism’s future relies on its ability to adapt and to communicate across media. I arrived in San Francisco as a brand new Penn State graduate trying to win a big contest [I admit it: the finalist trophy is perched on my bookshelf.] But I left the Hearst championships, a few days later, as a more selfless journalist, one with a stronger understanding of and commitment to the well-being of our craft.

I remember how extraordinary I felt when arriving in San Francisco with the other finalists to compete. It really felt like a big deal. I was nervous and excited and ready to get to it. After getting our assignments, the next 24 hours felt like a bit of a blur. I was in an unfamiliar city with no contacts and only a few working hours to get my facts and interviews for the story. So I did my best, and it all came together in the end. I didn't place in the top three, but being in that situation taught me how to use my reporting skills and creativity when I started out at my first job in a new city with no contacts. After working as a television reporter/anchor/photographer for three years, I made a career change. I’ve been working in pharmaceutical sales since July 2006. Bob’s first job in journalism after college was as a reporter for WHIZTV, an NBC affiliate in Zanesville, Ohio. He’s currently a pharmaceutical representative for AstraZeneca in Baltimore.

Alexa recently accepted a position in Afghanistan as a foreign affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Defense. She was scheduled to deploy in May. Her first journalism job was with the Baltimore Sun.

HALLE STOCKTON, 2007 The moment right before the announcer revealed the winner of the Hearst national writing championship was a life high—and hopefully the closest I’ll ever get to having a heart attack. But participating in the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program was much more than an adrenaline rush. All writers, photographers, radio and television reporters are forced to step out of their comfort zone and showcase their talent in an unfamiliar setting. It is a test of applying the basics with flair. The competition requires each person to push his or her skill to the next level. It is an exciting but intimidating challenge to search for a style or unique story that will make your work stand out among a pool of highly talented peers. It’s really not the plaques or certificates that stay with you after the trip to San Francisco. The knowledge that you can be thrown into a foreign location and still succeed at your chosen craft is the real gift. It allows you to confidently tackle new challenges as you finish school and find a job in your profession. The College of Communications and Penn State’s many studentrun media outlets cannot go unnoticed in the University’s accomplishments this decade. Without the fundamentals taught by caring, talented advisers and professors, and realistic experience, this long-term success would not have been realized.

Halle, who works for the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune/New York Times regional media group as a staff writer, holds her national championship award in 2007 flanked by judges Stephen Buckley of the St. Petersburg Times (left) and Pat Andrews of the Miami Herald.




The 2008 Hearst championship in San Francisco was more than just a contest. On a personal level, it was my first cross-country trip, the culmination of a lot of hard work and perhaps my proudest moment yet. It was the chance to compete against—and, more importantly, get to know—seven other writing finalists. On our first night in San Francisco, we received our spot assignment: a story on “going green” in the city. We all felt the same adrenaline rush and the same nerves about venturing into an unknown city, and we bonded quickly over the kinds of conversation that only journalists would understand. I ultimately reported on Green Dog Walks, a local initiative that promotes sustainable dog walking, thus preventing erosion and loss of vegetation. Our experiences, however, transcended reporting challenges. We networked with our esteemed judges and faculty members, and we explored the city. We also enjoyed a dinner overlooking the Pacific Ocean at dusk. That night, I remember posing for a photograph with a group of Penn Staters—including Dean Anderson, Professor Bob Richards and two fellow contestants—and feeling a sense of awe, and pride, that our success had taken us across the country together.

The first night in San Francisco at the Hearst championships I realized I was in for a challenge. I knew it was a competition, but just a few hours after getting off the plane I was in a room with a news executive from Hearst-Argyle and the other four student television news finalists. I really wasn’t sure how I would stack up coming from central Pennsylvania. But as I looked around that table at the other finalists I saw the same mix of excitement and trepidation on all their faces as we received the assignment. There was a moment of “Can I really do this?” But after a night of scouting locations online and little sleep, I found that once I got a camera in my hands it was as if I had never left State College—except, of course, for the traffic and that big red bridge in the background. My Hearst experience was amazing. Being there is like being in the best newsrooms and universities in the country at the same time. It’s a gathering of talented veteran journalists, faculty and young professionals. Penn State gave me the tools to get there, and I wasn’t alone; that year we had three Nittany Lions at the championships!

Angela is a freelance reporter for Newsday on Long Island, N.Y.

ANDREW McGILL, 2008 and 2010 In the Hearst national news writing championships, there’s no warning. There’s just the assignment—that and the no-nonsense understanding that if you don’t complete it on time, you might as well get on a plane and go home. That’s how I found myself during the 2008 championships in an abandoned Navy base on the San Francisco Bay, cautiously following the wild-haired man in front of me to his garden. He was a former South American journalist who followed his daughter north to California and was now eking out a living selling the rich, dark soil he composted along this stretch of waterfront. I had spoken to him for the first time that morning. Now, I was writing his story. That’s the pace of the competition. You find out your spot-news topic the night before—in my case, it was “Going Green in San Francisco.” You report and write the story the next day. It’s a breakneck pace that seems destined to lead to failure. It’s also one of the most exhilarating challenges a young reporter could hope for. The composter showed me his soil, drove me around Oakland, bid me farewell. I took the subway back to our hotel, wrote my lead in a Starbucks next door and spent the night typing out the rest. It’s said that when someone is given a challenge, he rises to the occasion. Hearst is proof of that. Andrew, a senior who graduated with honors in May, has accepted a position as a reporter at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. (Photo by John Beale)

Aaron works as a research support manager at Blue Heron Research Partners, a company he joined immediately after graduation that conducts research about companies for investors.


Results: 63 Placements in DJNF Among Nation’s Best With 63 of its students earning Dow Jones News Fund editing internships during the 21st century’s first decade, the College of Communications stands second only to the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism for total placements. DJNF internships, which involve a training residency followed by 10-week paid internships at newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and at news organizations such as, AccuWeather and the Center for Investigative Reporting, are considered the gold standard for journalism internships. Students who complete the internship also receive a scholarship from the Fund. Hundreds of students from colleges and universities across the United States apply each year by taking an exam, writing an essay, and submitting their grades and resumes to the Fund. Those who pass the test—a tough combination of language precision, current events, geography and editing—are then vetted by a panel of editing professors and news professionals. Roughly one in five applicants each year lands a coveted internship. This summer, 10 Penn State students, nearly half of those from the College who applied, were selected. That put Penn State well ahead of all other programs that place a strong emphasis on editing, such as Missouri, Kansas, Central Florida and Nebraska. Almost every summer since 2001, Penn State has been in the top five for placements. Students who land these internships have completed the College’s news editing course, an upper-division class required for journalism majors that emphasizes the nuts and bolts of editing. Department of Journalism faculty members John Dillon and Marie Hardin also oversee the College’s efforts to prepare students for the application process. Students interested in applying get extra drills in current events and language-precision topics. Students who have completed DJNF internships help sell the opportunity to their classmates and so does Richard Holden, executive

director of the Fund, who visits editing classes each fall. “Every year the selection is greeted with great deal of excitement among our journalism students,” Hardin said. “Students know what a News Fund internship means: A terrific summer, lifelong friendships, invaluable contacts in the industry and an unparalleled learning experience.” Of the 63 College of Communications students who have earned DJNF internships since 2001, a handful have attended the editing “boot camp” offered at Penn State. The College is among six training sites for interns, and it receives an annual grant from the Fund to run the workshop. Other on-campus sites are at Missouri, Texas, Temple, Nebraska (with a focus on sports) and Western Kentucky (with an emphasis on multimedia editing). Penn State is responsible for training interns who report to about a dozen news organizations around the United States. Dillon and Hardin direct the boot camp, and faculty from the College’s journalism department provide instruction on a variety of topics, including multimedia editing and legal and ethical issues for editors. Holden and editors from news organizations also pitch in. Students receive instruction from legendary editors such as Gene Foreman, retired managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and founding director of Penn State’s DJNF residency, and William Connolly, retired New York Times senior editor and co-author of the Times’ style and usage manual. “It’s intense training, and the opportunity to be in contact with and learn from some of journalism’s best editors adds a lot to the experience,” Dillon said. Connolly challenges interns with a series of tough language-precision drills and a case study that requires students to dissect "big-picture" problems in a story. “The visit to Happy Valley is an annual treat, in no small part because the students are always bright, engaged and engaging,” Connolly said.

DOW JONES SELECTIONS (2005-2010) 2010 ❚ Tamara Conrad, White Plains Journal News ❚ Kirstie Hettinga, AccuWeather ❚ Amanda Hofmockel, California Watch ❚ David Miniaci, The New York Post ❚ Alexandra Petri, Cape Cod Times ❚ Diana Rodriguez, White Plains Journal News ❚ Dan Rorabaugh, Hartford Courant ❚ Erin Shields, Washington Times ❚ Rossilyne Skena, Palm Beach Post ❚ Chad Uddstrom, Bay Area News Group 2009 ❚ Marissa Carl, Wall Street Journal ❚ Arianna Davis, New York Daily News ❚ Kathryn Dvorak, Naples Daily News ❚ Phenola Lawrence, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ❚ David Reinbold, Charleston Gazette ❚ Emily Sher, New York Times News Service

2008 ❚ Kristen Huth, Virginian-Pilot ❚ Michael James, White Plains Journal News ❚ Kimberly Meyer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ❚ Heather Hottle, Pocono Record ❚ Alexandra Petri, New Bedford Standard Times 2007 ❚ Lauren Bootier, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ❚ Kim Cicconi, Sarasota Herald-Tribune ❚ Christopher Ednie, Medford Mail Tribune ❚ Sarah Goldfarb, Argus Leader ❚ Martin Gutman, Hartford Courant ❚ Alex Muller, Kankakee Daily Journal ❚ Jennifer Shew, St. Petersburg Times

2006 ❚ Lauren Antonelli, Virginian Pilot ❚ Sarah Goldfarb, Roanoke Times ❚ Jennette C. Hannah, Newsday ❚ Justine Maki, Indianapolis Star 2005 ❚ Hannah Aboul-Hosn, Houston Chronicle ❚ Neil Barbour, (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News ❚ Michael Catalini, Buffalo News ❚ Joanna Citrinbaum, Palm Beach Post ❚ Brandon Linton, Santa Cruz Sentinel ❚ Laura Michalski, Virginian Pilot ❚ Jeanette Schreiber, Columbus LedgerEnquirer ❚ David Simon, Erie Times News ❚ Sean Smyth, Naples Daily News ❚ Paul Weinstein, Indianapolis Star ❚ Megan Wolf, Portsmouth Herald


Reflections: Faculty Prowess, Program’s Commitment Key RICHARD HOLDEN, Executive Director, Dow Jones News Fund My friends at Penn State kiddingly tell me that the only reason I visit the campus frequently is to stock up on Peachy Paterno ice cream from the creamery. Well, that’s not the only reason. First and foremost, I visit because I find meeting with the students and faculty interesting and stimulating. I’m most impressed by the importance placed on editing, the dedication of the faculty and the interest shown by the students in this “lost art.” Years ago, Gene Foreman invited me to visit the campus and discuss with students what the Dow Jones News Fund had to offer. After that initial visit, it became clear that if

we ever had an opportunity to set up another of our “centers for editing excellence” it would be at Penn State. That opportunity became a reality in 2004 when the Ottaway Newspapers group of Dow Jones & Co. rejoined our intern training program. The results have been outstanding. The editing triumvirate of first Gene Foreman, then Marie Hardin and most recently John Dillon have produced outstanding interns. With Dean Doug Anderson batting cleanup, we’ve hit a grand slam. Students from universities around the country come to the Penn State training site,

PROFESSOR GENE FOREMAN In the decade that Penn State has been a part of the DJNF program, our students have succeeded to a degree that could hardly have been imagined in the spring of 1999. That semester, so few students signed up for COMM 467 News Editing that the course’s only section had to be canceled. It turns out that all they needed was a little push. Two things happened during the 1999-2000 academic year. One was that our new dean, Doug Anderson, thought the editing course deserved more faculty emphasis, and he said so. The other was that we looked at DJNF and decided that there was nothing not to like about it: a national competition in which excellence would be recognized, two weeks of intense training at a campus site, a paying job for the summer, and a modest scholarship for students returning in the fall. We wanted our students to have that opportunity. The problem was that nobody on the faculty had any familiarity with DJNF. I decided to put in a phone call to DJNF Executive Director Rich Holden. To my delight, the affable Rich proved to be a fan of Penn State. He eagerly accepted the invitation to visit the campus and give our editing students his splendid lecture/practical exercise on math in journalism. In his inimitable way, he also kindled enthusiasm for becoming DJNFers. As professors urged their print-journalism students to enroll in COMM 467, the course soon was adding sections. Once in the editing class, students were signing up to take the national written test that narrows the field for the prestigious DJNF internships. In the summer of 2001, two Penn State students were among the

and their comments about the quality of the training, the campus and the community are uniformly positive. Bill Connolly, a retired senior editor of The New York Times, joins me on my visits to the intern “boot camp” every summer. He shares my enthusiasm and respect for the job that the faculty does in preparing the interns for work as editors on copy desks and websites for a dozen or more organizations. I’ve spent the past 18 years visiting universities around the country. Of all the colleges, schools, divisions and departments of journalism and mass communications that I have had the pleasure of seeing, none is better than Penn State. I’m looking forward to my next visit this summer, and just maybe a half gallon of Peachy Paterno ice cream.

more than 100 winners nationally. In the summer of 2002, four Penn State students won. And in the summer of 2003, there were five. We were just getting started. The program really picked up momentum in the fall semester of 2003, when Marie Hardin joined the faculty as an assistant professor of journalism. Marie came with an extensive network of contacts in DJNF, having been an associate director of one of the DJNF summer boot camps in Florida. Her networking paid off the next summer when nine Penn State students won internships—and when Penn State was chosen as one of the boot-camp sites where DJNF winners from around the country practice their editing skills for two weeks before going to their summer jobs. We’ve run a boot camp every year since then. During the decade, news editing has become one of five courses required of print-journalism students at Penn State (the others are basic and advanced reporting, news media law, and news media ethics). The goal has been to expose these students—most of whom are heading for jobs as reporters—to a set of skills that augments what they learn in their reporting classes. In news editing, they look at news stories the way editors do. They analyze the content, applying news judgment; and they examine the copy in detail, applying the disciplines of style and grammar. They also learn about newspaper and web design. As their semester in COMM 467 progresses, it’s not unusual for some of the students to decide that editing is their future. Especially for these aspiring editors, DJNF offers a great summer experience and a resumé entry guaranteed to get an employer’s attention. And, as the DJNF competition has demonstrated, these Penn Staters are among the best in the country. We should have known that all along.


PROFESSOR MARIE HARDIN While Penn State has built a decade of experience with the News Fund, I, too, reached my own 10-year milestone with the program last year. Although I didn’t arrive here until 2003, my first summer as an instructor for DJNF was in 1999, during a training residency (we often call them “boot camps”) at Virginia Commonwealth University. That’s also when I met Rich Holden, executive director of the program, who has been a trusted friend and mentor since that day. In 2000, I became associate director of the DJNF residency at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla. The department there was small, and none of the other faculty had an editing background. I relied mostly on professional editors to supplement my instruction. Of course, that wasn’t the case when I arrived at Penn State. We have a wealth of editors-turned-teachers on our faculty. I quickly began to tap this resource, and journalism faculty members have become regulars at our annual residency. Curt Chandler, Curtis Chan, Chris Ritchie and Judy Maltz have taught from their areas of expertise, such as new media (Chandler) and editing business stories (Maltz). Faculty member John Dillon brings an especially valuable mix of skills and experience to our DJNF efforts. John joined our faculty in 2007 after three decades at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Richmond, Va., where he served as deputy managing editor for metro news and Virginia news. He oversaw 65 reporters and editors covering local and

state news. For 15 years, he also recruited newsroom interns and managed the paper’s internship program. Soon after John arrived at Penn State, I invited him to become involved with our residency. He started as an instructor and last summer moved to assistant director duties. This year, he is co-director, overseeing all instruction during the eight-day boot camp. During the fall, he directed our efforts to prepare our students for the DJNF test, and his coaching paid off with one of the College’s largest DJNF classes: 10 students. I am excited about what John will do with the residency. Obviously, he is experienced and well connected to editors across the country. In fact, his experience in dealing with the Dow Jones News Fund goes back nearly 20 years. He knows what editors are looking for in good interns, and he knows what kind of training is most effective. But he is also resourceful and innovative. For instance, when we were looking for ways to expand our reach into new media, John suggested we contact AccuWeather – a media operation based in State College. I called an alumnus there, and the company quickly came on board. John has also used his network of contacts to reach out to other new-media ventures. I am convinced there are two reasons for Penn State’s continuing success in DJNF placements: top-notch students and dedicated, experienced faculty. The reason for Penn State’s continuing success as a residency, though, is singular: our faculty.




I am one of the lucky few to receive an editing and a business reporting internship through the Dow Jones News Fund. Having that brand on my resume´ helped me attain quality jobs. Since graduation I have worked in three cities, and I am amazed at how many News Fund alumni have made big impacts in journalism. Also, one doesn’t make a lot of true friends in this industry, but I will always have a special relationship with the colleagues I met in training. The genius of the program is the boot camps that prepare students for internships. The instructors and volunteers work so hard to make sure their pupils shine at their news organizations. I don’t think I can ever repay them for their efforts. When Penn State began hosting a boot camp in the last decade, I was honored to be asked to help. It benefited the students. But I think it benefited me more because I love journalism and the News Fund, and it allowed me to pay tribute to both. I don’t know what the future of journalism will be. I do know that the Dow Jones News Fund will play a big role in it.

When I learned about the Dow Jones News Fund internship, I was in an editing class listening to a former DJNF intern talk about her internship. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint why—because I had a reporting background with no formal copy editing training—but the challenge of the DJNF “boot camp” and the opportunity to build my editing skills at a newspaper immediately jumped out at me. Eight months later, with the support of my editing professor and after completing a challenging test, I found myself at the University of TexasAustin in boot camp. I quickly learned that I was the only copy editing newbie of all of the interns, which was definitely intimidating. As I worked through the challenges, however, I found that the boot camp and education at one of the nation’s largest newspapers, the New York Daily News, was enough to whip me into shape. I met amazing people and learned an incredible amount about news and editing through DJNF. I know that I will carry my DJNF experience with me for a lifetime.

Steve, a 2004 graduate, works for

RENEE PETRINA As a Penn State senior, I paid the HUB copy center $11 to fax a completed editing test to The Washington Post. The fee was worth it—I got the internship, and I joined the 2004 class of the distinguished Dr. Ed Trayes’ DJNF boot camp in Philadelphia. (Alumni surprised him with a 25-year reunion while we were there. At the time, we thought it odd. But today, many of us are still in touch.) Copy editing took me from State College

Arianna, a 2009 graduate, works as an editorial assistant at O, The Oprah Magazine

to Jacksonville, Fla., to Indianapolis, where I worked wires while part of a great team. The coolest thing I heard at The Indianapolis Star? “Great headline” or “Good work tonight.” But on July 9, 2009, Gannett called – another copy editor’s job eliminated. On the strength of my Penn State and DJNF credentials, I joined the journalism faculty at Ball State University, in Muncie, Ind. I teach editing (of course!) and more. I’m now redeveloping our editing syllabus to widen its scope, adding broadcast editing to a

course that already covers print and online. The coolest thing I hear these days? The sarcastic, yet honest: “Thanks to you, Petrina, I edit everything now.” I hope Dr. Trayes is proud. Renee, who is finishing her master’s degree in the College, teaches journalism at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.


Photos by Jessica Quinlan

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Decade of Excellence  

Special section from Summer 2010 edition of The Communicator looking at recent successes in College of Communications.

Decade of Excellence  

Special section from Summer 2010 edition of The Communicator looking at recent successes in College of Communications.