Early this June, Caleb Coffman, BA’21, brought home a third place overall finish in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program’s national writing championship. In addition, he won Best Reporting Technique.
In the last twelve years, IU has placed second three times and first eight times — including a stretch where IU was the reigning champion for six years in a row. The Hearst awards are referred to as the Pulitzer Prizes of college journalism.
With IU competing at such a high level, it has become a testament to the hard work and dedication of the students and the incredible support of their professors, mentors, and editors at the Indiana Daily Student. These high-caliber stories have served as an inspiration to new students coming to IU to pursue the study and practice of journalism.
Schools are ranked annually based on points accumulated throughout the year in different writing categories including feature, explanatory, profile, sports and investigations. Historically, almost all of the pieces entered were published in the IDS.
Caleb Coffman won the sports category this year for his story The General’s Shadow: How author John Feinstein survived a year with Bob Knight. He and the Media School earned $3,000 all together, and qualified for the national championship where finalists across the country are given writing assignments to complete. At nationals, Coffman placed third in the individual championship and received a special award for Reporting Technique — receiving a total of $6,000.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Writing Championship was conducted virtually for the second year in a row. Yet, for the past twelve years, IU has had a steady stream of students qualifying for this individual championship. It's been an extraordinary stretch of accomplishment by IU students and IDS staffers.