University of Nebraska-Lincoln Journalism Students Earn Top Awards

Four University of Nebraska—Lincoln journalism students earned top awards December 16 in the radio and television broadcast features competition sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Journalism Awards Program. The top finishes place UNL in 1st place with the highest accumulated student points.

Wade Hilligoss finished in 1st place in the radio features competition. He will compete for the National Broadcast News Championship to be held June 6-10, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif. He receives a $2,600 award with a matching grant to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Morgan Demmel finished in 8th place, also in the radio features competition, and will receive a certificate of merit.

There were 46 students from 27 journalism schools competing in the radio broadcast news competition.

Brandi Kruse finished in 2nd place in the television features competition. Kruse, who won the Hearst National Broadcast Championship in June 2010, qualifies for the semi-final round, which will be held in February. She receives a $2,000 award with a matching grant to the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Andrew Mach finished in 6th place, also in the television features competition, and will receive a certificate of merit.

There were 69 entries from 40 journalism schools competing in the television broadcast news competition.

A fifth UNL journalism student, Andrew Dickinson, placed 9th in the November photojournalism competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Dickinson's entry was selected from among 88 submitted from 53 schools nationwide.

Hilligoss was selected to staff the UNL ABC News on Campus 2010 summer bureau. Hilligoss began as the number two play-by-play and number one color commentator on, calling high school athletics in his hometown of Lincoln and became afternoon sports intern and evening news anchor at KFOR 1240 AM. Hilligoss has worked as a utility staff member at UNL's campus radio station, KRNU, and its Web-only stream, Studio 201, where he trained other students. In 2009, he served as an intern for Lincoln's ESPN radio affiliate.

Demmel spent was an intern for CBS 4 News and Newsradio 850 KOA in Denver in summer 2009. She has contributed to the UNL-run news website,, and appeared on the campus newscast Star City News. University of Nebraska-Lincoln placed first in the Intercollegiate Broadcast News Competition with the highest accumulated student points from the first radio and television competitions.

Kruse, a member of the 2009 ABC News On Campus Bureau at UNL, has worked as a reporter/anchor at Lincoln radio station 1240 KFOR-AM, where she earned a statewide award for her work in news. Kruse has held positions with the news and public affairs unit at NET Television on several political and social documentaries. She has had internships at KOLN/KGIN-TV news in Lincoln, ESPN Radio in Fargo, N.D., and has made appearances on the college's program, "Star City News."

Mach is pursuing majors in broadcasting, news-editorial and German, with a concentration in history. Since January, he has been a reporter, videographer and producer for ABC News on Campus. In that role, he contributes digital content for and its various online platforms. Last summer, Mach interned at the Washington Post as a multimedia and video journalist, where he videotaped and edited daily breaking and feature news videos for While in D.C., he also worked on projects for the Newseum and the Freedom Forum. In 2009, Mach interned in Berlin at ZDF, Europe's largest television network, where he aided in the production and planning of "ZDF Morgenmagazin," the network's national morning news program. While in Berlin, Mach also reported for The Local, an online newspaper, offering Germany's news in English. His journalism experience also includes reporting for the Norfolk Daily News and producing multimedia podcasts for the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

Dickinson is a photojournalism student in the UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications. His images consistently make the front page of UNL's student newspaper, the Daily Nebraskan. He traveled to Kazakhstan this past summer to tell multimedia stories about poverty and social issues on that side of the globe.

The radio and television judges are Kate O'Brian, Senior Vice President, ABC News, New York, N.Y.; Ursula Reutin, Managing Editor/News Anchor, News Talk 97.3 KIRO Radio, Seattle, Wash.; and Fred Young, Former Senior Vice President of News, Hearst-Argyle Television, Yardley, Pa.

The photojournalism judges are Ken Geiger, Deputy Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine, Washington, D.C.; Geri Migielicz, Executive Editor, Story4, Ben Lomond, Calif.; Michael C. Norseng, Photo Director, Esquire Magazine, New York, N.Y.

The Journalism Awards Program, now in its 51st year, includes six monthly writing competitions, three photojournalism competitions, three broadcast news competitions (one in radio and two in television), and two multimedia competitions with championship finals in all divisions. The program offers up to $500,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends. 110 member universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs are eligible to participate in the Hearst competitions.

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Wade Hilligoss

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Morgan Demmel

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Brandi Kruse

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Andrew Mach

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Andrew Dickinson