UNC Hussman students earn 5th consecutive overall national championship, an individual national championship and numerous honors in 2023 Hearst collegiate journalism competitions

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program has announced UNC Hussman as the 2023 overall national champion in collegiate journalism.

It is the school’s fifth consecutive national championship, eighth in the nine past years and 12th since 2002 — far surpassing the school’s closest competitors.

From more than 1,303 entries nationwide in this year’s Hearst Awards — considered the Pulitzers of collegiate journalism — UNC Hussman students earned the highest total accumulated points in monthly writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia competitions held over the past year.

The school finished first overall in the multimedia category, second in writing, fourth in audio/television and sixth in photojournalism. 

“I’m so proud of our students and so thankful to the coaches and to all who made this incredible achievement a reality. It’s very rewarding for all of us as community to see our students’ talent and dedication recognized and honored at the highest levels,” said Raul Reis, dean of the school. “Our entire UNC Hussman community works to provide the best learning experiences for our students, and we celebrate their successes as a community.”

Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Charlie Tuggle attributed the school’s winning streak to three key points: “We have really good students, we have faculty members who are very strong in each of the competition’s categories, and we stress the importance of the Hearst Journalism Awards to our students from Day 1.”

Five UNC Hussman students were among 30 students nationwide who qualified to compete for individual championships in San Francisco June 2-7, 2023.

UNC Hussman’s Sophie Mallinson ’23 won the individual national championship in Hearst’s audio category.

Mallinson garnered her win with a story about the use of A.I. in analyzing littering patterns. She called the championship a culmination of the skills she’s learned at Hussman and cited Adjunct Instructor Adam Hochberg as a key influence in her audio work.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without his mentorship. He is the type of instructor who gives the most thoughtful feedback. When he critiques your work, you feel yourself getting better,” Mallinson said of Hochberg, who also serves as the adviser to Carolina Connection, Hussman’s student-produced radio show and podcast platform. Mallinson also praised professors Tom Linden and Rhonda Gibson as mentors

Angelina Katsanis ’23 placed second nationally in the multimedia category while also taking home the award for Best Multimedia Story of the Year. 

Brianna Atkinson ’23 placed third place in audio. Alasdair McNinch ’23 and J’sha Gift ’23 were finalists in the writing and photojournalism competitions, respectively.

The individual championship finals were the culmination of monthly competitions throughout the year among students at more than 100 journalism and media programs. Students competing in the finals were given a spot assignment to complete and submit for judging.