4 UNC Hussman journalists competing in Hearst collegiate national championship finals
By Beth Hatcher
Four UNC Hussman journalists are competing as finalists in the Hearst Journalism Awards individual collegiate national championship finals in the fields of photojournalism, audio and multimedia. UNC Hussman has the most finalists among the 28 journalism students representing 20 universities from across the country.
Nash Consing ’21 and Hope Davison ’22 are representing the school in the multimedia finals. Angelica Edwards ’22 is competing in the photojournalism finals and Charlotte Ix ’21 is in the audio finals.
The championships, which are virtual this year, began June 5 and conclude June 14. During the competition, the finalists will participate in various spot assignments selected by Hearst judges, competing for scholarship awards ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.
The Hearst Journalism Awards are the nation’s most prestigious student journalism awards competition and are often referred to as the Pulitzers of collegiate journalism. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation holds year-long competitions in writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia for journalism undergraduates. The awards program was founded to foster journalism education through scholarships for outstanding college students. Since its inception, the program has distributed more than $13 million in scholarships and grants for the best work by student journalists.
“Our school’s strength across the competition’s visual and written platforms has allowed UNC Hussman to place finalists in the competition so often, and we've seen multiple Hussman students make the finals in recent years,” said Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and John H. Stembler Jr. Distinguished Professor Charlie Tuggle. "The finalists' work represents the innovation, creativity and attention to detail we instill in our students at the school."
For UNC Hussman finalists, the Hearst recognition bookends a year of mostly virtual learning necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has also influenced their projects’ subject matters.
The year’s challenges partly prompted Consing’s multimedia project “To My Future Employer.” The piece, shot for Consing’s fall 2020 MEJO 582: Advanced Documentary Video Storytelling course with Associate Professor Chad Heartwood, addressed Consing’s anxieties not only in finding employment after graduation, but doing so while much of the working world still operated on lockdown.
“I really enjoy long-form documentary work in which I can emphasize artistry,” said Consing, who is working a remote video internship with FiveThirtyEight, a New York-based news site, this summer. “And multimedia is an excellent way to package dense information.”
Consing credited Heartwood’s mentorship as a foundation for his project’s success: “Chad was really gracious, especially during the worse of the pandemic. I really appreciate him as a teacher, a mentor and a person.”
Watch Consing's “To My Future Employer” project.
Davison’s project “What’s next, Japan?” explores issues surrounding working women in the Asian country, such as work-life balance and sexual discrimination.
Davison, whose mother is Japanese, also completed her project for Heartwood’s “MEJO 582,” which she took in spring 2021. Davison praised the guidance Heartwood gave her during the semester.
“Historically, there’s been a more male-dominated voice in news and popular culture. Around the world, women have their own reality and their own stories. Directly hearing from women about the issues they face is really important,” said Davison, who is working as a multimedia intern this summer with The Grand Rapids Press.
Scroll through Davison's "What's next, Japan?" project.
Edwards met Reece while doing a story about hospital parking fees for The Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s independent student newspaper where Edwards worked as a photojournalist. Impressed by the woman’s candor and strength, Edwards spent 14 months documenting Reece as she battled her disease and completed items on her “Live, Love, Laugh” list, such as renewing her wedding vows. Reece passed away in February 2021.
“As a photographer, working on the project forced me to be a better journalist. I had to have tough conversations and be sensitive. As a person, it taught me to not give up. It was really inspiring to see her go through her journey,” Edwards said.
While Edwards’ project was one she completed independently, Edwards credited UNC Hussman professors like Heartwood and Pat Davison for providing advice and insight on the project.
Below are three photos from Edwards' photo essay on the late Reece's battle with breast cancer.
Ix produced a trio of coronavirus-related stories that examined the pandemic’s effects on eating disorders, UNC’s reopening plan and the dairy industry.
“It was so interesting to see how one issue could affect people in so many different ways,” said Ix, who created the stories through Carolina Connection, UNC Hussman’s student radio station, where she started working her sophomore year.
Ix praised Carolina Connect adviser Adjunct Instructor Adam Hochberg as a mentor for her work. “He has worked with me since I started radio when I was a sophomore,” Ix said. “He had countless zoom calls with me to discuss the project and gave great suggestions about how to improve my work. I wouldn't and couldn't have done it without him!”
This summer, Ix is in Los Angeles working an internship with television production company Piller/Segan. As for full-time work, she hopes to find a job in television or audio production, a medium she has loved since childhood.
“It’s so fun to create a story just from audio. You can create such an environment just with sound,” Ix said.
Learn more about the Hearst Journalism Awards and UNC Hussman students’ winning work in the competition here.