Journalism students win national award for global multimedia project

Alina Croft, a student at the Reynolds School of Journalism, and Faith Evans, an alumnus, won 10th place in the Team Digital News/Enterprise competition of the Hearst National Journalism Awards for a project they collaborated on in 2021. This award has marked the school’s sixth Hearst Prize, commonly referred to as the Pulitzers for Academic Journalism, in the 2021-22 academic year.

“I hadn’t expected to receive such an honor so early in my journalism career, and I’m quite proud of this achievement,” Croft said.

School of Journalism building.” class=”img”/>Alina Croft taking a photo in front of the Reynolds School of Journalism building.

Croft and Evans worked together on the project with Croft writing the story and Evans handling the media components, including a video reel, podcast segment, photos and graphics.

“I really enjoyed taking on the multimedia elements because it gave me a very up close and personal insight into our subject matter,” Evans said.

The article investigated the subject of online adult chat rooms during the COVID-19 lockdown. The two took on the project for Professor Colombant’s international reporting class. Evans began scouring chat rooms in hopes of meeting international friends who could help her with ideas for world stories, and what she found during that experience inspired the topic of the project.

“Nobody considers sexting a serious topic in journalism, but it’s something that connects people around the world in these anonymous chat rooms,” Evans said. “I wanted to tackle this taboo story head-on.”

Faith Evans is interviewing someone at Believe Plaza.Faith Evans is interviewing someone at Believe Plaza. Photo credit: Sydney Oliver.

Croft and Evans were able to take on this project with confidence with the support of their teachers at Reynolds School. Croft graduated with her undergraduate degree in the spring of 2021 and is continuing her education as a graduate student at the school. She hopes to write long-form articles of personal interest for magazines. Evans also graduated from Reynolds School in the spring of 2021 and currently works as a city reporter for the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, covering local government, business and human interest stories.

“I feel truly fortunate to have attended the Reynolds School of Journalism because during my undergraduate career I had many unique opportunities to be published, to work outside of academia, and to create lifelong network ties,” Croft said.

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