two-month partnership between 29 Quinnipiac students and a reporter from WTNH-TV, News 8, has led to a prestigious 2016 Edward R. Murrow Award for hard news reporting.
The students in professor Amy Walker's class conducted interviews and research on the effects of rising seawater on Connecticut communities before designing a website and gathering footage with David Iversen, chief investigator for WTNH of New Haven.
Their exhaustive work was noticed not just in the state, but across New England, and was honored with a 2016 Edward R. Murrow Region 10 Award for hard news reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association.
"This was an exciting opportunity for our students to get out of the classroom and off campus, and to feel the pressure of professional deadlines," said Walker, assistant teaching professor of journalism in the School of Communications. "They were able to experience first-hand the challenges and successes of reporting and producing a complex story."
Lee Kamlet, dean of the School of Communications, said, "This award recognizes what can happen when aspiring student journalists, working alongside seasoned professionals, convert what they've learned in the classroom into real-world experience while benefiting the community. The result is a powerful story that is clearly in the public interest. We are grateful to WTNH for the opportunity, and look forward to more collaborative efforts in the future."
Keith Connors, news director at WTNH, said his station could not have tackled a project of such size and scale without the help of the student researchers from Quinnipiac.
"The young journalists put in hundreds of hours of research," Connors said. "Thanks to their diligence, we were able to build a comprehensive look at the future of dozens of communities along Connecticut's Shoreline. Our partnership created a substantial piece of quality journalism that provided our viewers and users with the most complete look at rising sea levels on our shoreline to date."
The Quinnipiac students were: Stephen Albano, Janessa Andiorio, Colin Babcock, Elayne Barrentine, Tyler Brosiou, Jordan Burnell, Sean Clasby, Justin Cloutier, Nicolas Colon, Matthew Colucci, Thomas Cunningham, Danial Donnelly, Sarah Doiron, Connor Fortier, Michael Hewitt, Amy Hooker, Timothy Marks, Shanna McCarriston, Maximilian Molski, Rebecca Riina, Rebecca Rogoz, Victoria Saha, Ethan Savluk, Eric Sidewater, Benjamin Szabo, Sean Treppedi, Connor Voss, Jacobo Waincier and Jonathan Wische.
"It is absolutely amazing to be part of a project that was recognized by such a prestigious organization," said Doiron, a junior journalism major. "We worked so hard and it is awesome to see all of our hard work come to fruition." This year, more than 4,300 entries competed for 654 awards.
"Our winners shed light on important issues and solved problems in their communities," added RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender. "We're proud to recognize their achievements."