Journalism Students Place in National Hearst Contest

Competition among the most prestigious in collegiate journalism

UM student Brittany Brown (left), then a senior journalism major, interviews artist Raúl Ayala at his shop in Loíza, Puerto Rico. Photo by Jasmine Karlowski

OXFORD, Miss. – Four students from the University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media have been honored with an award in the national Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

The students won eighth place in the category of Team Multimedia/News or Enterprise for a project about Puerto Rico’s recovery after Hurricane Maria. Website content included short and in-depth text articles, videos, photographs, graphics and timelines.

The students on the team are journalism majors Devna Bose, Brittany Brown and Christian Johnson, and integrated marketing communications major Hayden Benge, who designed the website. All four students had leadership positions at the university’s S. Gale Denley Student Media Center in 2019.

The Hearst competition is considered one of the most prestigious in college journalism.

A team from the UM School of Journalism and New Media takes in the sights of Old San Juan while visiting Puerto Rico for reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2019. The group includes (from left) Iveta Imre, assistant professor of journalism; Pat Thompson, assistant dean for student media; student Brittany Brown; M.F.A. student Jasmine Karlowski, an adviser in the Study Abroad Office; students Christian Johnson and Devna Bose; and UM graduate Ariel Cobbert, a photographer at the Commercial Appeal. Submitted photo

Bose, Brown and Benge graduated in May 2019. Bose, a native of the Mississippi town of Philadelphia, is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer in North Carolina through the Report for America fellowship program.

Brown, from Quitman, just finished the first year of her master’s degree in the Southern studies documentary program at Ole Miss.

Benge, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an account coordinator for Saxum, a marketing communications agency, in Tulsa.

Johnson, from Kennett, Missouri, graduated in May 2020 and continues to work as a photography intern for UM Office of Marketing and Communications.

The faculty leaders for the project were Patricia Thompson, assistant dean and assistant professor of journalism, and Iveta Imre, assistant professor.

Journalism graduate Ariel Cobbert participated as photography mentor. She is a photographer at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis.

Jasmine Karlowski, a Study Abroad adviser and student in the Master of Fine Arts program, helped with translations while working on a mini-documentary about the trip.