Broadcast Student Named Best Collegiate TV Journalist in Nation

The Hearst Foundation named Elon University senior Randy Gyllenhaal the best collegiate television journalist in the nation on June 6, 2009, at its annual awards ceremony in San Francisco.

Randy Gyllenhaal

Gyllenhaal received a $5,000 prize for first place. A student at the University of Southern California finished second, a University of Florida student placed third, and Arizona State students finished fourth and fifth. The five finalists were selected through year-long competition involving students at more than 100 schools accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

The finalists in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program were brought to California and given two days to conceive, shoot and edit a TV news story of up to two and a half minutes in length on an economic topic of their choice in the San Francisco area.

Gyllenhaal’s winning broadcast piece focused on the fishing industry in the Bay Area. He found that seafood restaurants have lost their customer base during the tough economy because seafood is more expensive than burgers. In turn, this has driven down demand for fresh seafood, causing fisherman to lose business.

Gyllenhaal’s piece featured dockside and restaurant interviews, on-the-water video and natural sound, an interview with an economic specialist on the seafood industry, impressive graphics (which no other student included), and a humorous close featuring seagulls.

“When I saw Randy’s piece prior to the awards ceremony, I was blown away at how good a story he told in such a clear way,” said Paul Parsons, dean of the School of Communications. “One of the professional judges came up to me afterwards and said Randy’s piece was ready to air on San Francisco television.”

The Hearst Foundation awards program features four competitions. A Michigan State student won first place in writing, an Arizona State student won first place in radio news, and a University of Florida student won first place in photojournalism.

For more information on the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, click on the link to the right of the page.