CJC Fresh Take Florida Reporters Excel in SPJ College Coronavirus Coverage Competition
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Fresh Take Florida student reporters were the big winners in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) College Coronavirus Coverage (CCC) Awards.
“One college media outlet dominated The CCC Awards. And four women – Dana Cassidy, Angela DiMichele, Karina Elwood, and Tobie Nell Perkins – dominated the COVID-19 coverage at WUFT, the public radio and TV station based in the j-school at the University of Florida,” according to one of the contest judges.
UFCJC Journalism sophomore Cassidy, junior Elwood and seniors DiMichele and Nell Perkins and other students covered the COVID-19 outbreak for Fresh Take Florida, a team of students covering Florida’s state government and other issues of statewide, regional or national interest. The stories, which are featured on WUFT and wuft.org and picked up by statewide and national media.
The CCC Awards, sponsored by The Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Collegiate Press, the Society for News Design, College Broadcasters, Inc., and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, recognizes college journalists who are admirably covering a pandemic for little or no money while struggling with online classes. Stories were judged in three categories: general content, photography, and design.
According to SPJ, “Judges perused each week’s entries and amiably bickered on Sunday night calls that could last well over an hour. This past Sunday night, it ended in mere minutes. There was simply no debate who wowed them.”
The winning stories included:
- Stuck In Peru: Coronavirus Strands Gainesville Woman Far From Home
- Background Checks Reflecting Gun Sales Break New Records In Florida, Nationally
- Unintended Consequences: Lawmaker Says He Never Meant To Allow Florida Colleges, Universities To Hide Details Of Pandemic Response Plans
- Sanford Orlando Kennel Club Forced to Close Doors Early
- Keeping the Family Restaurant Open in the Pandemic: It’s All We Have Ever Known
According to one of the judges, who is an editor in the Washington, D.C. area, one of their ideas was so good he used it when his newsroom worked on a similar story.