News Articles

21 campuses compete for journalism honors

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A total of 667 entries from 21 colleges and universities have been received for judging in the second annual Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Competition, contest coordinator Joni Hannigan reported.

The awards will be announced Oct. 12 during the Baptist Press Student Journalism Conference, Oct. 10-12 in Nashville, Tenn. Former ABC News religion reporter Peggy Wehmeyer will be the keynote speaker at the awards banquet, scheduled to be held on the campus of Belmont University.

“This is a tremendous representation of the hard work that student journalists have done on their campuses,” said Will Hall, vice president for news services and executive editor of Baptist Press. “We look forward to honoring the many fine works of these talented collegians.”

Last year 451 entries were received from 18 universities and colleges.

Schools competing in the 2002 competition are Anderson College, Baylor University, Blue Mountain College, California Baptist University, Campbell University, Carson-Newman College, Charleston Southern University, Cumberland College, Hannibal-LaGrange College, Houston Baptist University, Lee University, Liberty University, Mars Hill College, Mercer University, North Greenville College, Ouachita Baptist University, Samford University, Union University, University of Mary Hardin Baylor, Wayland Baptist University and William Carey College.

The competition is being coordinated by Hannigan, a national correspondent for Baptist Press and a veteran journalism teacher. She has written more than 400 news, investigative and feature stories and writes a column for Baptist Press. Hannigan holds an M.Ed. degree from Park University in Kansas City, Mo., and a bachelor’s of science in education from Hannibal-LaGrange.

The competition is being judged by professional journalists from across the nation, including:

— Patricia Rice, religion editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch since 1994. She develops, writes and edits its Saturday section and does breaking news locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. She has been a journalist for 35 years, working as a news reporter and feature writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 33 years. She also has written four books.

She has won awards for her work in religion and other topics from various press organizations and interfaith organizations. As chairman of the Journalism Foundation of Metropolitan St. Louis for nine years, she served as judge of its scholarship-judging program. She is a member of the Religion Newswriters Association and has been a judge in its contests. She also has judged contests at several universities and served as professional adviser to the Washington University student newspaper for many years.

— David Waters, who began working at The Commercial Appeal in 1982 in the Memphis newspaper’s Jackson, Tenn., bureau, has held a number of positions in the Memphis newsroom from the copy desk to the wire desk to the metro desk. He was Scripps Howard headline writer of the year in 1985-86. He began covering religion in 1993. He won a Best of Scripps award in 1996 for his faith reporting from Bosnia and in 2000 for his work as a columnist. He won the American Society of Newspaper Editors distinguished writing award for religion and spirituality in 1997.

— Richard Vara, religion editor at the Houston Chronicle. He has been covering religion since 1984, beginning with the former Houston Post and joining the Chronicle in 1990. Vara has been a journalist since 1970. He won the 1997 Supple Memorial Award given annually to the religion writer of the year by the Religion Newswriters Association.

— Tammi Reed Ledbetter, a Dallas-area freelance writer. After receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas, majoring in journalism and speech, she edited publications for Criswell College, a Youth for Christ ministry in Indiana, and an evangelistic association. She served as managing editor for the Indiana Baptist, director of communications for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is now news editor for Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, in addition to writing for Baptist Press.

— Marti Hefley, award-winning author of “Christian Martyrs of the 20th Century”. She is a former yearbook teacher/adviser at Hannibal LaGrange College and was the former co-owner of Hannibal Books.

Other judges include Shane Keyser, Kansas City Star; freelance photographer Morris Abernathy; Jim Jones, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Gayle White, Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Adelle Banks, Religion News Service; Jim Smith, Florida Baptist Witness; Debbie Moore, journalism educator; and James Bates, The Sun Herald, Gulfport, Miss.

For conference registration information, call (615) 782-8615 or email [email protected].

    About the Author

  • Staff