Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Two University of Georgia Students Among Nation’s Top Collegiate Journalists

GE Note: Kudos to these budding stars. We look forward to following your bright future in journalism.

Two University of Georgia students have been named to the inaugural UWIRE 100, a distinction which honors the nation’s top collegiate journalists.

Brian Hughes, a senior newspapers and political science major from Lawrenceville, and Samantha Promisloff, a speech communication major from North Potomac, Md., were selected for the group of 100 students who represent an elite crop of aspiring media professionals.

UWIRE, a free membership organization for college student media, made its selections from more than 500 nominations submitted by students and educators at 132 schools. A UWIRE panel evaluated each candidate based on demonstrated excellence in a field of collegiate journalism.

“This is journalism at its most pure,” said Ben French, vice president and general manager of UWIRE. “The 100 best student journalists in the country—hard workers, big thinkers and gifted storytellers—nominated by their peers and advisers for their potential to shape the media industry in the years ahead. Taken collectively, the 100 tell us something about the state of media today, and show us the faces who will be telling us the news in years to come.”

Hughes is a reporter at The Red & Black, UGA’s student newspaper, and senior in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Conrad Fink, Grady College professor of journalism, noted in his UWIRE nomination, “Brian Hughes is among the top 10 college journalists in the country, not top 100. I base this on 25 years of doing journalism and 26 teaching it. My awareness of his advanced skills arose after a couple semesters watching his reporting and writing and mentoring him within and outside my demanding courses.”

Ed Morales, adviser for The Red & Black, agreed with Fink’s assessment. “Brian Hughes is one of the better reporters I’ve come across, be it on a college campus or in the newsroom of a professional paper,” he noted. “The key to Brian’s prowess is tenacity. Brian never backs down from asking the tough question or spending hours finding the one document or fact that makes the project worthwhile.”

Promisloff graduated from UGA earlier this month and was a staff music writer and pop culture columnist for The Red & Black’s Variety section. Before graduating, she honed her skills as a correspondent for SPIN magazine’s website, working as the executive assistant at Athens’ renowned 40 Watt Club, and performing freelance publicity work for a range of local and national bands. In 2008, she covered the Coachella Music & Arts Festival for Paste magazine and presented the College Town Tour Guide of Athens via UWIRE and Billboard.

“I definitely caught the rock-writer bug sometime between buying my first issue of Rolling Stone in elementary school, seeing Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous for the first time a little later, and sealing my fate around the wee age of 15 when I scored a post-show interview with John Mayer for a school project completely by myself,” Promisloff said. Her future plans are to hopefully continue in rock journalism in Austin, Los Angeles or New York City.

In his UWIRE nomination, Morales said, “Reading a Sami story is like having a conversation with someone who never feels old or contrived. Breezy writing should be cherished, and Sami is a master at it.” Morales singled out a Promisloff column, which was essentially an obituary for the MTV Video Music Awards, as having just the right tinge of regret and anger—regret because of what it once meant and anger for what it had become.

The announcement of the UWIRE 100 is the culmination of a three month national search for the country’s top 100 collegiate journalists. The selected students have excelled in a particular journalism medium, have a proven commitment to the journalism field and have the potential to help revolutionize their industry. The UWIRE 100 students hail from 66 different schools, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities.

UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers seven undergraduate majors including advertising, broadcast news, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and telecommunication arts. The college offers two graduate degrees, and is home to the Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as one of the most prestigious prizes for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu.

By: Sherrie Whaley

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