2012 – 2013 Writing Winners

From 536 writing entries received in the 2012-2013 writing competitions, eight finalists’ competition articles qualified them for the Hearst National Writing Championship in San Francisco, where they competed for additional scholarship awards. This special event consisted of an on-the-spot assignment and a press interview. The finalists’ articles were judged for accuracy, writing quality, enterprise and innovation.

On Monday, June 3rd, shortly after arriving in the city, the finalists met with the judges for orientation and assignments. This year, the on-the-spot assignment was to address the tight rental market in the city. The finalists’ press interview subject was California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom. The final deadline was Wednesday at 6 p.m. by which point a news story from the interview, a personality/profile of Gavin Newsom and the spot news piece were due. After reviewing the articles Thursday morning, the judges made their decisions and the winners were announced at the awards ceremony that evening.

The first through third place winners were awarded scholarships of $5,000, $4,000, and $3,000 respectively and are featured below. The five finalists who earned $1,500 scholarship awards were: Rachel Janik from Northwestern University, Alex Orlando from University of Florida, Stephen Pianovich from Pennsylvania State University, Faiz Siddiqui from University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Claire Wiseman from Indiana University. Two additional awards of $1,000 each were given to Rachel Janik for Article of the Year and Alex Orlando for Best Reporting Technique for their articles submitted in the monthly competitions.

The five finalists arrived in San Francisco on June 3rd, and that evening they met with the broadcast judges to receive their assignment. They were asked to produce a story about the about the value and credibility of on-air predictions.