‘Best of the best,’ part II

In January, I wrote about Cambria Haro, a student in my Media Hub class last fall, when she won first place in the national Hearst Journalism Awards for her work on television storytelling.

Hearst announced yesterday that Payton Tysinger, a student in my spring Media Hub class, won first place in the second round of the awards. Payton won the top honors from among 74 entries from 45 schools.

Apparently, this is the first time that students from one school have placed first in both the fall and spring competitions.

Not only that, Jilly Kuehn, also in Media Hub, won ninth place.

I take absolutely no credit for their successes. They’re naturals at TV. And while I know a little about storytelling, but the amount I know about broadcast storytelling and production values couldn’t fill a lens cap. (Although I have watched every episode of “The Newsroom” and HBO so I do know something.)

But I’m going to stand in their reflected glory for a minute and brag on them. This was a confounding semester because the pandemic closed the campus halfway through. Students were  discouraged from reporting “on the scene.” Interviews were conducted by Zoom and FaceTime; bedrooms became studios. It required patience and ingenuity — like real life.

Yet, they persisted, as did every student in that class.

View Payton’s award-winning work here, here and here. Jilly’s is here.