SF State students finish in top 10 in Hearst multimedia contest

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Two SF State journalism students finished in the top 10 of the third multimedia competition of the 2020-2021 Hearst Journalism Awards Program.

David Mamaril Horowitz, a print/online journalism major from San Francisco, finished fifth in the Multimedia Digital News or Enterprise Story Competition and received a $1,000 award for the story Caregiving During Covid. The heart-wrenching story, produced for his JOUR 395 Online Journalism class, captured the day-to-day life of Horowitz and his mother as they cared for his ailing father in the early months of the pandemic.

“On one hand, we’re lucky; family members of residents who live in skilled nursing facilities across the nation are mostly restricted from seeing their loved ones during the pandemic,” he wrote in the multimedia project. “The cancellation of in-person classes has also given me more flexibility as a caregiver.”

But he also chronicled the toll caregiving took on him and his mother. “We became debilitated and fatigued," Horowitz wrote in an email. "But we were together. That togetherness was precious, and it kept us going. I just wish I spent that kind of time with my father before his illness took away so much."

Harika Maddala, a photojournalism major who transferred to SF State from India in 2018, finished eighth for her story “Family of slain 22-year-old allege evidence tampering,” which was published by Golden Gate Xpress last July.

Maddala, who was a photographer for the student newspaper at the time and went on to become photo editor, chronicled the response to the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa on June 2, 2020 by Vallejo Police Department Officer Jarrett Tonn. The incident, which happened just weeks after the shooting of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, sparked protests across the Bay Area. Maddala captured the emotion of the demonstrations and the family's call for justice.

“It was my first time reporting on a story so big and serious,” Maddala said. “And as someone who had lived in this country for barely two years at the time, I was very anxious about it. I was worried about whether I was asking the right questions, using appropriate language, and telling the story right. Going from that point to finishing in the Top 10 for a Hearst award for this story means everything to me.”

There were 74 entries from 44 schools submitted in the third multimedia competition of the academic year.

SF State is in third place in the Intercollegiate Multimedia Competition after three of four multimedia competitions. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is in first place and Western Kentucky University is in second place. Other schools in the top 10 include: University of Florida; Stony Brook University; Syracuse University; University of Missouri; Elon University; Arizona State University; University of Maryland and University of Montana.

The final intercollegiate winners will be announced after the completion of the fourth multimedia competition in May.

Often called “The Pulitzers of college journalism,” the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, in its 61st year, consists of five writing, two photojournalism, one audio, two television and four multimedia competitions offering up to $700,000 in scholarships, matching grants and stipends. More than 100 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.

The points earned by individual students in the monthly writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia competitions determine each discipline’s intercollegiate ranking. The winners are those schools with the highest accumulated student points in each category.