Journalism Students Win Fox News Channel College Challenge

Blake Hanson and Emily Spain Earn a $10,000 Scholarship and a Trip to New York City

By Dolores Obregon
Planning and Communications Staff

Columbia, Mo. (June 6, 2011) — Radio-television juniors Blake Hanson and Emily Spain looked calm and professional as they discussed their winning entry during a national broadcast on the Fox News Channel. Their story, “Divide on Proposition B,” was selected as No. 1 in the eighth annual Fox News Channel College Challenge. Proposition B is a law that aims to stop puppy mill abuses by establishing common sense standards for the proper care of dogs.

Emily Spain
Emily Spain
Blake Hanson
Blake Hanson

Hanson, Spain and Greeley Kyle, an associate professor of radio-television journalism, traveled to New York City to appear on the Fox News Channel to discuss the winning entry and their reporting experience. Hanson and Spain also will share a $10,000 scholarship, and they are eligible for an internship at Fox News Channel. The School will receive a matching $10,000 grant.

Kyle cited the students’ industrious attitude, work ethic and innovative thinking as key to the award-winning story’s success.

“They took a local story, gave it the kind of coverage it deserved and made it of interest to a national audience,” Kyle said.

Hanson, from Apple Valley, Minn., and Spain, from Columbia, Mo., have served in numerous capacities at KOMU-TV, including reporter, anchor, producer, production assistant, live truck operator and Web editor. KOMU-TV is the only university-owned network commercial television station that uses its newsroom as a working lab for students.

Hanson was an intern at WCCO-TV (CBS) in Minneapolis, and he previously served as the news director of KCOU-FM, the university’s student-run radio station, and remains on staff as managing editor. He is the outreach chair for the Missouri chapter of the Radio Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA). Hanson received a Communicator Award as part of election night coverage that he anchored for KCOU.

Steve Doocy, Emily Spain, Blake Hanson and Greeley Kyle
From left, Fox and Friends co-anchor Steve Doocy, Emily Spain, Blake Hanson and Assistant Professor Greeley Kyle appearing on Fox News Channel to discuss the news story, “Divide on Proposition B,” which was selected as No. 1 in the eighth annual Fox News Channel College Challenge.

Spain has earned Society of Professional Journalists regional awards for feature and in-depth reporting. She is a recipient of the Edward C. Lambert scholarship. The fund commemorates Lambert, PhD ’52, who played a key role in starting KOMU in the 1953. Spain is serving as an intern at WECT-TV in Wilmington, N.C., this summer.

This nationwide competition for undergraduate students majoring in journalism, broadcast journalism, communications or an equivalent, aims to recognize, encourage and support excellence in broadcast journalism in America’s colleges and universities.

The Fox News Channel College Challenge requires teams of two to four upperclassmen to research, write, produce and submit an objective broadcast news story. A panel from Fox News Channel, who are integral in the newsgathering, production and presentation of news, judge the entries.

Kyle noted that he stresses the importance of entering and winning contests to his students each semester.

“I feel it validates them as journalists, gives them high goals to shoot for, and bringing home the gold is a great resume enhancer,” he said. “News directors love proven winners.”

Updated: June 2, 2020

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