HATTIESBURG -- A senior journalism major from
the University of Southern Mississippi took seventh place in
feature writing in the 2005 Hearst Journalism Awards Program.
David McRaney, 28, of Sumrall, won a $500 scholarship, matched
by a Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism
$500 grant for his work “Area Resident Not Inconvenienced by
Katrina,” which ran in The Student Printz Oct. 20. McRaney is
news editor for The Student Printz.
McRaney’s story chronicles the story of Sumrall resident Flossie
Bell Lott, 92, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which
hammered south Mississippi on Aug. 29. The storm cut off electricity
to more than 90 percent of the customers in the state of Mississippi,
including the area around Lott’s home. But for Lott, who has
lived most of her life without air conditioning and other modern
conveniences, the loss of electricity made little difference.
“I'm just pleased a story like this one made it into the top
10,” McRaney said. “All of us who escaped the worst of the damage
were whining about our air conditioning and our cable, and here
was a lady from my hometown who, at 92 years old, barely noticed
McRaney said he wrote Lott’s story as an assignment for Dr.
David Davies’ reporting class and also as “an attempt to sum
up the things rattling around in my head” following Katrina.
When the Hearst competition for feature writing deadline was
announced, McRaney said, “I knew I had to pick this story."
The Hearst Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the
auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools
of Journalism and Mass Communication and fully funded and administered
by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. It consists of six
monthly writing, three photojournalism and four broadcast news
competitions with championship finals in all divisions. The
program awards more than $400,000 in scholarships and grants
McRaney competed against 101 students from 57 universities
and colleges to earn his seventh-place finish in the program’s
first competition of the academic year. First place went to
Nicole Williams of Arizona State University.
“This is a really tough competition among excellent student
journalists from programs of all sizes and statures across the
country,” said Maggie Williams, adviser to The Student Printz.
“David is the first student since I’ve been with the Printz
who has placed in the Hearst awards. This is a really big honor
for David and it is well deserved.”
The story may be read at http://www.studentprintz.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/20/4356ed25517da?in_archive=1
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is
a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling
its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering
individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition
of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating
a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural
enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern
Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus
and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast;
further information is found at www.usm.edu.
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