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OSU Journalism Student Receives National Recognition for Reporting

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

An Oklahoma State University journalism student recently garnered national recognition for his investigative reporting from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which is often described as the collegiate Pulitzer Prizes.
John Estus, a news-editorial senior from Tulsa, was awarded third place in the in-depth writing competition. Estus’ eight-week investigation, published in The Daily O’Collegian in December, found that about $110,000 in federal funds intended to help poor Stillwater residents buy homes instead was given to middle-class buyers who did not qualify. A subsequent state audit of the housing program confirmed Estus’ findings.

Estus and the OSU School of Journalism & Broadcasting will each receive $1,000 from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
Eighty-eight students from 51 journalism schools nationwide competed in the in-depth writing competition.
Estus produced his story as part of the public affairs reporting course taught by associate professor Joey Senat last fall.
“This is well-deserved national recognition for John and our program,” Senat said. “John wasn’t afraid to report on a complicated subject, and he did so with the same expertise and diligence expected of professional reporters.”
Shortly after the article was published, Web sites for Investigative Reporters and Editors and for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism posted it as an example of excellent investigative reporting.
Only students from accredited journalism schools are eligible for the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, which is in its 46th year. The national program is “designed to encourage excellence in journalism and journalism education.” The entries are judged by panels of media professionals.

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