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WKU students 1st, 3rd in Hearst photojournalism competition

Two WKU students have finished first and third in the first photojournalism competition of the 54th annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

Jabin Botsford, a senior from Knoxville, Tenn., won the news and features category and received a $2,600 scholarship award while Sammy Jo Hester, a senior from London, Ky., placed third and received a $1,500 award. WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting will receive matching awards.

Botsford and Hester also qualified for the Hearst program’s semifinal round of judging later this spring. Botsford was a finalist in the Hearst program’s 2013 National Photojournalism Championship.

Often called the “Pulitzers of College Journalism,” the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of accredited schools of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. The program, in which 105 undergraduate journalism programs across the nation are eligible to participate, consists of five writing, two photojournalism, one radio, two television and four multimedia competitions offering up to $500,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends.

After the first of two photojournalism competitions, WKU is in first place followed by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (tie); Ohio University (tie); University of Missouri; Central Michigan University; Kent State University; Indiana University; Michigan State University; Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; and Elon University. The final 2013-14 Intercollegiate winners will be announced in April.

WKU has finished among the top eight nationally in the Hearst overall competition for 20 consecutive years and won the national title in 2005, 2001 and 2000. WKU has won the Hearst multimedia championship for the past two years and has won the photojournalism championship 20 times in the past 24 years.

Contact: School of Journalism & Broadcasting, (270) 745-4144.

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