FORT COLLINS, COLORADO — Sydney Wicker, a graduating senior with Collegian TV Channel 11/880 on local cable stations) at Colorado State University, has qualified for the semifinals of the prestigious 61st annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Award Program in television reporting. The Hearst awards are considered the most prestigious college journalism competition.
The top four finalists in each of two categories dedicated to television reporting move on to the semifinals. Wicker qualified by placing fourth in the Television Features category, winning a $1,000 scholarship for herself and and another $1,000 award for Colorado State University’s Journalism and Media Communication department.
The Hearst Journalism Awards were founded in 1960 in order to encourage, support and help assist those in journalism education. There are more than 100 colleges and universities across the country who participate every year in this competition. The program offers $700,000 in undergraduate awards all throughout a five month period of two competitions each month for different categories such as photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia.
Wicker is the first CSU student in the last seven years to place in the Hearst Awards. In 2014, two students participated in the awards, McKenna Ferguson and Hanna Gelnnon. Ferguson won third place for the breaking news writing category. Glennon won a certificate for the Multimedia Enterprise Reporting.
Wicker is a fourth-year student focusing on sports broadcasting. Her love for sports began at a young age, which has led her to be where she is today.
“Working for Fox Sports has definitely been a dream of mine,” Wicker said.
Wicker submitted two separate reports as part of her Hearst entry. The first was a feature on children who participate in the sport of ninja (as seen on shows like “American Ninja Warrior”). Her other story focused on a high school athlete who competes with a limb difference.
“At first I couldn’t believe it,” Wicker said after finding out she had won the award, “and at first I didn’t realize it was like from the Hearst award and then I got so many congratulations from all these professors.”
“I’m very humbled by it, all these people are taking their time out to send me a simple email. I just think that’s so sweet,” Wicker said.
Wicker has been involved in all sorts of media work throughout her time at CSU. Wicker has worked with Student Video Productions and the Rocky Mountain Collegian. At Collegian TV, she served as Sports Director and Assistant Executive Producer. She also pitched the idea for a monthly all female run sport show, “Laced Up,” “…to give women an opportunity to feel so empowered and feel so equal” Wicker said.
“She stands out as a student, a real go getter… she has initiative which you know a lot of students are afraid to do,” said Sarah Pooler, a professor in the journalism department at CSU.. “That’s the kind of initiative that… that’s going to help her in her chosen career field, as a television reporter.”
“She pushes herself when no one else does,” Pooler added.
If she places in the top five in the semifinals competition, Wicker will go on to compete in the national finals, which will be held in June.
Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation is a not-for-profit company that employs students to produce media for the Colorado State University and Fort Collins communities. Located on the CSU campus, RMSMC employs nearly 300 students annually to pr
oduce independent student media each school year on a variety of platforms, including The Rocky Mountain Collegian and Collegian.com, KCSU-FM radio, Collegian Television (CTV) and CSU TV11, College Avenue Magazine, and Student Video Productions. Learn more about us at RockyMountainStudentMedia.com.