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J-School Students Take Top IRE, SPJ and ACP Awards

  • By John Mancini
Peter Senzamici

Newmark J-School students have been honored in national and regional contests recognizing outstanding investigative journalism, audio reporting, news writing, multimedia projects and COVID-19 coverage.

When Colleges Fail On Mental Health, by Abigail Napp and Harsha Nahata—an in-depth review of public data and court filings showing how schools fall short on providing psychological support—was named the best story in its student division in the national Investigative Reporters and Editors 2020 awards.

Work by Newmark students won in four categories in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence awards for Region 1, which covers most of the Northeast:

  • Intractable: The Rat Problem, by Theresa Gaffney and Peter Senzamici, a close look at New Yorkers’ eternal battle with rodents, took the top spot for Podcasts.
  • Chess parlor sees an uptick in popularity after “The Queen’s Gambit,” by Holly DeMuth, on how the Netflix series inspired renewed interest in the game, placed first for Radio Feature.
  • The Struggle of Special Ed, by Cai Luna Pigliucci, which chronicled the pandemic experiences of teachers and students across the city, took first place for Online News Reporting.
  • Changed Men Seek Changed Sentences—a text, video, photo and audio project by Diane Bezucha, Jocelyn Azucena Contreras, Holly DeMuth, Gus Fisher, Sarah Gabrielli, Brooke Henderson, Parker Quinlan, Steven Vago and Shehzil Zahid documenting the stories of five incarcerated New York men who are seeking clemency—won Best Use of Multimedia.

In addition, Newmark students were finalists in four SPJ Mark of Excellence categories:

Newmark students were also recognized nationally in the Best of Show awards at the Associated Collegiate Press Spring convention:

The NYCity News Service, launched in 2007, provides student stories about New York City neighborhoods to professional outlets and produces multimedia special reports, sometimes in collaboration with news organizations.

The student-powered News Service, along with 219West and AudioFiles, has collected scores of honors in local and national journalism competitions run by the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Editor & Publisher, the Online News Association, the Associated Collegiate Press and other noted media associations.