University Scholar Katy Ralston Wins Major Journalism Prize

Katy Ralston , a sophomore communication major at Texas A&M University from Rogers, Texas, has been awarded a 10-day journalism study trip to Japan by the Scripps Howard Foundation. Ralston is one of nine winners chosen out of hundreds of applicants for the annual Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition.

Ralston has worked at Texas A&M’s student newspaper, The Battalion, as a news and enterprise reporter since her freshman year. She also writes for “The Invisible Jungle,” a student-operated program produced by KAMU, Texas A&M’s National Public Radio affiliate.

The competition, established in 1984 in cooperation with the Indiana University School of Journalism, honors the memory of the journalist who led Scripps Howard Newspapers from 1922-1953 and United Press International from 1912-1920.

Mike Philipps, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation, said the prize responds to the need for today’s student journalists to better understand international affairs, adding that of the nearly 250,000 American students who study abroad each year, only about 10 percent select a country in Asia.

The expenses-paid trip will be led by Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the journalism school at Indiana University and a Roy W. Howard scholar, who has extensive travel experience throughout Asia. Travel begins June 11 and includes excursions in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima, the site of the first atomic bomb dropped on any city, where events to mark the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II are planned for the students.

“We are honoring the legacy of Roy Howard with this reporting award because he lived a global life as a reporter and editor long before most journalism schools taught about international reporting,” said Hamm. “These young journalists will have the opportunity of a lifetime to learn about the media and culture of Japan.”

The winners, whose entries represent print, broadcast and online media, were chosen for the high quality of their work, essays about their interest in international affairs and letters of recommendations.

The Battalion, the student newspaper at Texas A&M since 1893, is a 2008 ACP Newspaper Pacemaker winner. It is a forum for student expression, which serves the university community by reporting the news of the day and by developing opinions regarding issues of interest to readers, say advisers. The Battalion trains students in news journalism by setting high standards and by providing the resources and guidance to reach those standards, organizers say.

Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes. It is the corporate foundation of The E.W. Scripps Company, a diverse, 131-year-old media enterprise with interests in television stations, newspapers, local news and information Web sites, and licensing and syndication.

Contact: Tura King, News & Information Services, (979) 845-4670 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (979) 845-4670 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Sue Porter, The E. W. Scripps Company, (513) 977-3030 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (513) 977-3030 end_of_the_skype_highlighting; or Cheri Shipman, The Battalion news advisor, (979) 458-1207 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (979) 458-1207

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