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By Flynne Bailey
University News
April 12, 2011

Journalism Students Take Top Honors at Regional Conference

Candace Smith (Center) is the bureau chief of ABC On Campus at Howard University

WASHINGTON – Students in the Department of Journalism received top honors in the Mark of Excellence Awards during the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 2 conference in Norfolk, Va. was awarded Best Independent Online Student Publication and Best Online In-Depth Reporting for its eight-part series on the “food deserts” in the District of Columbia. In the series, students reported that fast food and alcohol were easier to find than fresh fruit and vegetables in some parts of the city. The journalists examined the dearth of supermarkets in some areas of the city, as well as access problems related to transportation and personal finances. The student journalists also uncovered inequitable food prices in the city.

Candace Smith, bureau chief of ABC on Campus and a broadcast journalism senior, won second place in the Television Feature category for “Too Broke for the Vow of Poverty.” The feature examined why aspiring nuns must be debt-free before they can join the sisterhood. The Howard bureau of ABC on Campus is one of six such bureaus in the country.

“We are very proud of our students’ accomplishments,” said Phillip Dixon, chairman of the Department of Journalism. “These awards confirm that our best students can favorably compete with any students anywhere.”

The winners will now advance to the national competition level to compete with top contenders from the other SPJ regions. The national awards will be announced in May ahead of the SPJ national convention September 25-27 in New Orleans.

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