Elon student, alumna place in top 20 of national reporting competition

Senior journalism major Gary Grumbach and Kate Murphy '15 were both honored in the same multimedia competition.

Kate Murphy '15 (right) and Gary Grumbach '16
Senior journalism major Gary Grumbach finished 10th, and alumna Kate Murphy ’15 placed 16th in the 2015-16 Hearst Journalism Awards Multimedia II/News competition.

Grumbach’s story, “Islamophobia in America,” details the growing fear of Islam in the United States and how to counteract this trend. Murphy’s story, “Religion’s lack of authenticity causing lack of influence in American society,” centers on whether religion still has a defining role in the public life of the country and its citizens.

The Multimedia II/News competition required coverage of hard news or a breaking news event produced under deadline pressure. Grumbach is news director of “Elon Local News,” and Murphy is a higher education reporter at The Cincinnati Enquirer. Murphy placed fourth in Hearst’s Enterprise Reporting competition in 2015 for a story she produced as part of her News21 internship.

Entries were received in this Hearst competition from 29 schools. Among the colleges with students finishing in the top 20 were Western Kentucky University, Syracuse University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pennsylvania State University, Arizona State University and Northwestern University.

The Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program, known as the Pulitzer Prizes of collegiate journalism, gives students an opportunity to compete for personal scholarships, school grants and stipends by writing stories on current events.

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