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SOUTHERN MISS JOURNALISM STUDENT WINS HEARST AWARD

Date    12/14/0
Contact Maggie Williams (601) 266-6746

 

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 it.”

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 annually.

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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Last updated: 01/06/06

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