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Meek School of Journalism/New Media Wins Third National RFK Award in Seven Years

Front cover of Meek Magazine Spring 2014 issue "Land of Broken Promises"
Front cover of Meek Magazine Spring 2014 issue “Land of Broken Promises”

Today, May 11, the Meek School of Journalism and New Media was recognized for its depth report: “Land of Broken Promises” by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights with a Kennedy Award. It was the third time in seven years that the Meek School of Journalism & New Media has won the RFK Award given for the best college journalism in America, with particular emphasis on stories that shed light on the struggles of the underdog.

A panel chaired by historian Michael Beschloss chose the 2016 Book and Journalism award winners among 300-plus submissions. The Meek School of Journalism and New Media honorees of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards will receive a bust of Robert F. Kennedy during the awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newseum in Washington D.C.

Dean Will Norton congratulates Bill Rose, Mikki Harris, Darren Sanefski and Joe Starita for teaching their students who produced “Land of Broken Promises.” Below is a video of Dean Norton discussing the Land of Broken Promises and the recognition from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Assistant Dean Charles Mitchell said, “I could not be more proud of the really difficult work these students and their faculty leaders did. They conducted detailed research, arranged challenging interviews, handled them skillfully and reported accurately on a difficult topic. The photography complements the story-telling in every possible way. They deserve this singular honor. I don’t believe there’s another university or college that has received three RFK prizes. It’s for the best of best in college journalism.”

The students on the team earning the RFK award were Eliza McClure, Debra Whitley, Erin Scott, Jason Burleson, Logan Kirkland, Thomas Graning, Clancy Smith, Katie Adcock, Karson Brandenburg, Phil McCausland, Cady Herring, Phillip Waller, Mary Marge Locker, Kayleigh Skinner, Allison Moore, Mollie Mansfield, Christina Cain, Taylor Davenport, Kristen Ellis, Conner Hegwood, Jessica Hotakainen, Lauren Keossian, Ignacio Murillo, Savannah Pounds, Kimberly Sanner, Madisen Theobald and Ellen Whitaker.

Below is a video provided by the Meek School of Journalism and New Media and the Overby Center of the students discussing the work that went into producing “Land of Broken Promises”

The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization strives to recognize superb journalism in honor of the late Kennedy.

President of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Kerry Kennedy said via press release, “Throughout his life, my father held a deep commitment to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. He would invite reporters and news crews to join him in the most impoverished city neighborhoods, to Indian reservations and communities in Appalachia, California’s Central Valley or rural Indiana—places that often lacked electricity and plumbing—and he would ask the press corps why it wasn’t covering those issues and these places. The Journalists who followed his ’68 campaign created the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards in his name, to honor those who covered the issues most important to him.”

Callie Daniels Bryant is the senior managing editor at HottyToddy.com. She can be reached at callie.daniels@hottytoddy.com.

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