Journalism faculty, alums and student honored at 2012 Dateline Awards
Alumnus Khalil Garriott (G ’10) and faculty member Alisa Parenti each won a 2012 Dateline Award from the Washington, D.C., professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The awards, which were announced at a dinner and ceremony on June 12 at the National Press Club, honor journalists in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for excellence in a variety of categories, including spot news, sports and business/financial reporting.
Garriott, the online editor for the NFL Players Association, won the Dateline award for excellence in local journalism for the sports website entries of the Washington reporting category for his story “’85 Bears Finally Visit The White House.”
The judges wrote this about Garriott’s piece, which told the story of how the 1985 Chicago Bears, the winners of Super Bowl XX, met with President Obama 25 years after their first trip to the White House was canceled because of the space shuttle Challenger disaster: “It’s a good story, well told, and it was the first to be posted anywhere about this event.”
Parenti won in the business category for radio entries for “Surviving Pain at the Pump,” her series on rising gas prices. In the series, she gave listeners a glimpse at how gas prices affect a variety of people in the area: a mechanic, a realtor, a flower shop delivery guy and a gas station owner. The judges said the story was an example of “excellent local enterprise reporting.”
“Receiving the honor was exciting, but to see several students recognized for their work was truly a thrill,” Parenti said. “The MPSJ program is making its mark!”
Parenti was also a finalist for the Washington Correspondent Award. She reports for MarketWatch’s Broadcast Division and is heard regularly on WTOP-Washington, D.C., 1010 WINS-New York, WBBM-Chicago and KFWB-Los Angeles.
Student Judy Kurtz (G ’15) and alumna Elizabeth Jia (G ’10) were also honored at the ceremony.
Kurtz, a columnist at The Hill, was a finalist in the features category for weekly newspapers for her piece “Political cartoonists rooting for Gingrich.”
“I was honored to be among the SPJ Dateline Award finalists for my story on political cartoonists and how many of them were rooting for Newt Gingrich in the presidential race,” Kurtz said.
“Hopefully, with this nomination, my head won’t become as large as how one cartoonist described the former Republican White House hopeful’s noggin in my article: ‘His head is just immense. He looks like a walking Macy’s float. Or the marshmallow man from ‘Ghostbusters.’”
Jia was a finalist in the general news category for television for her work on “Bullying Stops Son From Going to School Says Mom.” She is a multimedia journalist at WUSA 9.
Thanks to James Parenti and Elizabeth Jia (G ‘10) for the pictures.
Faculty Member Linda Kramer Jenning Attends Women’s Round Table at President Obama’s Chicago HQ
Read about faculty member Linda Kramer Jenning’s trip to President Obama’s Chicago HQ on Wednesday, June 13 for a women’s round table. Attendees included writers, editors, and celebrities Elizabeth Banks and Nia Long.
MPS Journalism Alum of the Month - May 2012
Contact Information: Blog:www.jessicaleeweiss.com,
Twitter: @jessweiss1, Facebook: /jessweiss1
Jessica Weiss graduated from the MPS Journalism program in May 2011. Last November, she moved to Buenos Aires to work as a freelancer and practice her Spanish. Her articles have appeared in publications including The New York Times,The Washington Post Magazine andWashingtonian Magazine. Jessica revealed to us her favorite experiences from the program and how these experiences helped prepare her to live and report abroad.
1. Tell us how your degree from the Journalism program has helped you in your current job.
I moved to Buenos Aires somewhat as a leap of faith, but I believe my time at Georgetown helped build my confidence and led me to believe the experience would inevitably work out. During my two years in the program, I was given opportunities to think in new ways and produce meaningful work. With varied courses, I learned that I was interested in working in mediums I never thought I would be, like radio. I was also encouraged by my peers and professors to try to publish my work, which resulted in a portfolio of clips by the time I’d graduated. This proved that I could “do it,” and that my writing was worthwhile. Without those clips and the encouragement, I can assure you I would not have had as much confidence to move abroad without a job.
2.What is your best memory of being in the MPS Journalism program?
There are many, including a variety of inappropriate laugh attacks I had with friends in class (you know who you are)! But I’d have to say Howard Yoon’s Narrative Non-Fiction class really stands out. Part writing bootcamp, part group therapy session, the class (led masterfully by Howard) inspired students to dig deep and share their most personal stories through their writing. It was a totally safe and open space which made for so many beautiful pieces. I grew in huge ways in that class, and I think many others did too.
3. Twitter or Facebook?
I’m a self-proclaimed Twitter junkie. I’m actually that person who goes on a soapbox at parties about how Twitter is an incredible tool and shouldn’t be bashed on or characterized as a way to share useless information about your dog. Twitter has helped and inspired me in immeasurable ways. I think it’s an essential tool for journalists.
4. Who is your favorite working journalist?
One who comes to mind is Michael Kruse (@MichaelKruse) who writes for the Tampa Bay Times. Though he writes primarily about sports, his portfolio is incredibly varied. The piece that got me hooked on him was a haunting narrative of a Florida woman who died in her own home and wasn’t found for 16 months. The piece basically answers the question, “How could a woman go missing in her own home?” He was able to recreate so many scenes and dig up so many details that brought this woman to life and made the whole narrative very impressive. I remember reading the piece on a Sunday morning and being moved, baffled, saddened and horrified all at once — and of course totally in awe of his writing.
You can see some of the journalists I try to follow via my Twitter ”journalists“ list.
5. What one piece of advice would you give current students?
Take a risk while you can. It would have been nice and easy for me to stay in Washington, but I could no longer resist my curiosity and the urge to live abroad. A lot of people ask me how they can do something similar. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s something you really want, you can do it, and it will be worthwhile no matter what. Even to move to another city or state in the U.S. Use your skills to make it work financially while you settle — I have a variety of part-time jobs including an editing gig, English tutoring, yoga teaching — and then get out there and try to find the stories you want to tell and hope someone picks them up. I’m no expert, and I’ve certainly gotten my share of rejections, but I do believe that if you do something with passion and heart, and if you really want it, it can be. And even if it doesn’t turn out how you expected or hoped, just trust you’ll be a better person and storyteller for it down the road.
Check out this article by Georgetown MPS Journalism alum Brian Dabbs that was published yesterday in the New York Times. Brian currently lives in Kenya and wrote this piece on one small, rural town in Kenya where world-class runners train. Keep up the great work Brian!
About the Author: Tom Melia serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
On May 3, people worldwide will observe World Press Freedom Day, a UNESCO initiative. They will gather in cities and towns, through workshops and seminars, to join in…
Student Luis Velarde wins 2012 IAPA scholarship
Congratulations to MPS Journalism student Luis Velarde on winning one of three 2012 Inter American Press Association (IAPA) scholarships! Read more here: bit.ly/IbGEl6