University of Mississippi School of Journalism and New Media student Madison Scarpino will be honored for her 2018 work by the National Society of Professional Journalists.
Scarpino was the winner in the television breaking news category of the national SPJ competition. Her entry “Ole Miss community reacts to controversial Facebook post” aired on NewsWatch Ole Miss. In it, she explored both sides of the controversy.
SPJ Mark of Excellence judges pick one winner and up to two finalists in each category in the 12 regions, then the top winners in each region compete against one another for the national awards. All of the biggest and most prestigious universities enter SPJ.
We asked Scarpino a few questions about her win.
Q. How did you feel when you learned you won the award?
A. I was shocked at first. I never thought one of my news packages would get such recognition, especially on a national level. I feel so incredibly honored and humbled to have won.
Q. For those who don’t know, for which story did you win the award?
A. I won the breaking news category for the National Society of Professional Journalists. The news package that won was titled “Ole Miss Community Reacts to Controversial Facebook Post,” and it focused on the controversy surrounding Ed Meek’s arguably racist Facebook post.
Q. Why do you think the judges selected your story or work for this award?
A. I think the judges selected my story because it focused on an issue that is prevalent in today’s society. I also got opinions from both sides on the situation, whether being against or for Ed Meek’s post, to ensure the story was not biased.
Q. What are your career aspirations?
A. My dream in life is to host a national show and focus on soft news, entertainment, lifestyle, etc. I would absolutely love to be in front of the camera on a show such as “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show” or “E! News.” Regardless of where my career path takes me, I have such a passion for news and storytelling, so I would be happy with any on-camera reporting job.
Recent graduate Ariel Cobbert was also a finalist in the photography breaking news category of the national SPJ compeition. Cobbert is being honored for one of her Daily Mississippian photos from the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination anniversary event in Memphis.
If you are interested in joining the SPJ, email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.