ABOVE: Blake Stewart, Brooklyn Dance and Andrew Preston. // SUBMITTED
Trevecca journalism students, including a Brentwood woman and a student who does freelance writing for Home Page Media Group took home top honors last weekend at the annual Tennessee Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors college contest.
Junior Brooklyn Dance was named the top college newspaper reporter and claimed second place in the online spot coverage category. Dance also claimed Best in Show honors. This award is given to a student whom judges believe has submitted a large body of impressive work and includes a cash prize.
Dance, of Brentwood, is a graduate of Ravenwood High School.
Senior Andrew Preston won first place for sports reporting, and Blake Stewart, also a senior, won first place in the specialized/topic reporting category for his coverage of DACA students at Trevecca. Stewart is a regular contributor to Business Williamson and to other Home Page Media Group online publications.
The students submitted their work to be considered by a panel of judges. The Trevecca students were recognized from among more than 300 entries from 17 colleges and universities from across the state.
Jo Ellen Werking-Weedman, assistant professor of journalism at Trevecca, was excited to see her students receive well-deserved recognition for their hard work throughout the year.
“Student journalists play such an important role on college campuses,” she said. “By telling stories that matter they help keep the community informed and engaged. They work countless hours outside of class, and I’m thrilled that their hard work was honored and rewarded.”
Winning first place was an unexpected surprise for Preston, who took home several second and third place awards last year.
“I couldn’t believe that I won first place for the sports reporting award this year,” he said. “I assumed because I was competing against Vanderbilt I would place second. Winning this award proves it doesn’t matter the school you attend, you can be a successful journalist if you’re willing to put the hard work into it.”
Stewart said the recognition pointed to the strength of the University’s multimedia journalism program.
“For us to compete and win against schools like Vanderbilt and UT Knoxville is a big deal for me and just proved that we can compete with the best in the state,” he said. “It just goes to show you that when you combine passion, hard work and a desire to get stories out there that matter then you can compete with the big schools that have more funding and staff than Trevecca.
“I’m just so impressed with the work we have put out this year and hope that upcoming students will look at our work and our victories this year and consider taking some journalism classes,” he continued.
“Winning awards against such worthy competitors shows our students that they have the skills they need to excel and that they are capable of finding, reporting and writing stories that matter to our community,” she said.
The awards were announced on April 28 at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville. Students also had a chance to learn from professional journalists during the one-day event.