The University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) offers many opportunities for students to earn real-world experience before going out into the world. The most well-known opportunities probably lie in the student-run newspaper, The Daily Iowan, but several students not on staff are also constantly winning hard-earned Hearst Journalism awards, among others. We are so proud of the amazing performance of our students winning various journalism related awards.  Below is a glimpse of some of their achievements.


by the Associate Collegiate Press

COVID-19 in Religious Communities Video

First Place National Broadcast

Jenna Galligan

Jenna Galligan (Cinema and Journalism major and Anthropology minor) won first-place national for Broadcast: COVID-19 News or Feature for her documentary short film on how religious communities are impacted during the pandemic.

Watch Now
Iowa Caucuses

First Place Photo Slideshow

The Daily Iowan Visuals Staff

The Visuals Staff at The Daily Iowan won first-place national for Photo Slideshow for an impressive 29-photo essay on the Iowa caucuses. This was a staff-wide effort with contributions from multiple locations across the state during the unpredictable caucus night.

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The Daily Iowan Cover

Newspaper Pacemaker Award

Daily Iowan Staff

The Daily Iowan was one of 20 college newspapers nationally to win the award, considered the 'Pulitzer Prize' of college journalism. 

The entry consisted of Greta Thunberg's climate rally (10.04.19 and 10.07.19), the Iowa caucus (02.04.20), and the pandemic's impact on our community (04.22.20 and 04.29.20). 

The DI was also recognized as a finalist for the Online Pacemaker.

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University of Iowa collaboration key amid a crisis

Print News

Marissa Payne

Marissa Payne  (SP 2020, BA Political Science and Journalism and Mass Communication) placed third in Print: COVID-19 News or Feature for her story on the UI's pandemic response.

Corbin Scholz

Human-Interest Profile

Katelyn Weisbrod

Katelyn Weisbrod (FA 2019 , BS Journalism and Mass Communication and Environmental Sciences) placed third in Human-Interest Profile for her project on a UI pre-med student-turned-organic farmer.

Full article
Molly's Cupcake

Feature Photo

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz (SP 2020, BA Art and Journalism and Mass Communication) placed fourth in Feature Photo for her Molly's Cupcakes feature. Katina also received Honorable Mention for a News/Breaking News Photo and a Sports Game/Action Photo (separate entries).

Feature Photo
UI students grappling with rent payments during COVID-19

Online News

Sarah Watson

Sarah Watson (Journalism and Mass Comm and Political Science)  placed fifth in Online: COVID-19 News or Feature for her story on UI students grappling with rent payments when classed moved online.

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Bryce and Brooklyn Draisey

Multimedia III

Brooklyn Draisey

Brooklyn Draisey, 10th place – My brother died when I was 9; the UI children’s hospital’s sibling program helped me through.

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Janelle Lutgen

Multimedia III

Julia Shanahan

Julia Shanahan, 20th place – As Insulin prices rise, politicians attempt to take action, but for some families it’s too late.

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Tom Brands Iowa Wrestling Coach

Personality Profile

Anna Kayser

Anna Kayser, 16th place: Tom Brands leads through accountability in the Iowa wrestling room.

Full Article


by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)

Regional Winners: Photography

Breaking news photography
Nick Rohlman

General news photography
Roman Slabach

Sports photography
Katina Zentz

Regional Winners: Reporting

Breaking news reporting
Marissa Payne

In-depth reporting
Julia Shanahan

Sports writing
David Harmantas

Regional Finalists

General news reporting
Marissa Payne

Sports writing
Anna Kayser

Feature Photography
Katina Zentz 

Online/Digital Feature Videography
Roman Slabach