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Elon senior earns fourth place in Hearst competition

Senior journalism major Kate Murphy's article on firearms and weapons in schools earns a top-10 finish in the nationwide enterprise reporting competition.

As part of her award-winning article on firearms and weapons in schools, Kate Murphy ’15 traveled to Salt Lake City to interview a teacher who keeps a firearm in her classroom.

Senior journalism major Kate Murphy placed fourth in the 2014-15 Hearst Journalism Awards Enterprise Reporting Competition.

Her top-10 story, “Armed teachers aim to defend K-12 schools,” details under what circumstances guns are allowed in schools, particularly in the aftermath of recent school shootings.

Murphy wrote her enterprise piece while participating in the 2014 Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative, one of the most prestigious student journalism programs in the United States. During the 10-week investigative reporting assignment at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University, she joined a team of 29 Fellows to examine U.S. gun rights and legislation. As part of her reporting for the winning Hearst entry, Murphy traveled to Salt Lake City to interview a teacher who keeps a firearm in her classroom.

In total, Murphy worked on four of the 25 “Gun Wars” investigative stories that were produced by the News21 Initiative last summer. She also helped compile into a database a list of every fatal school campus shooting from 1960-2014 and gather information from states about all gun deaths of minors (0-19 years old) from 2002-12.

Murphy, a goalkeeper and captain for Elon's women's soccer team, worked as a senior reporter at The Pendulum.

There were 108 enterprise reporting entries received in this year’s Hearst competition submitted from 62 schools. Murphy finished in the top four with entries from Indiana University, Northwestern University and the University of Montana. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship as part of her finish.

The Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program gives journalism majors an opportunity to compete for personal scholarships, school grants and stipends by writing stories on current events.

Tommy Kopetskie,
1/9/2015 3:45 PM