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VisCom student selected as photojournalism finalist in the 2017 Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship

Claire Berlin | Jun 19, 2017

Alex Driehaus was one of six photojournalism finalists in the 57th annual Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship. / Photo provided by Hearst Journalism Awards Program

VisCom student selected as photojournalism finalist in the 2017 Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship

By Claire Berlin

ATHENS, Ohio (June 19, 2017)—Ohio University School of Visual Communication student Alex Driehaus was one of six finalists selected for the photojournalism competition of the 57th annual Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship. The competition included 29 finalists from across the country competing in five categories including writing, photojournalism, radio, television and multimedia.

“Being named a finalist for the Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship is an honor and one not unfamiliar to VisCom students,” said Tim Goheen, director of the School of Visual Communication. “The School of Visual Communication has had finalists or students who placed first or second, eight times in the past seven years.”

The Championship was the culmination of the 2016-2017 monthly competitions in writing, photojournalism, radio broadcast, television broadcast and multimedia. The two photojournalism competitions received 221 entries with 12 entrants that qualified for the semi-final round of judging. Semi-finalists were asked to submit portfolios which included portraits, features, sports shots, news pieces, singles and a picture story.

“Awards such as Hearst are resume and portfolio builders because they bring a student’s work before a wider audience,” said Goheen. “First the judges and then other industry professionals who will make a point of viewing the work of the finalists and winners. These awards are an assessment of the students and their schools by current and former photo editors and photojournalists.”

On May 29, six photojournalism finalists gathered in San Francisco for five days to demonstrate their skills in on-the-spot assignments and compete for additional scholarship awards. According to the Hearst Awards website, the six photo finalists were given two assignments: A picture story exploring family and relationships and an enterprise single on the theme of “no place like home.”

For her first assignment, Driehaus followed Lola and Dina Dvorak and their daughter Etta, capturing the daily life of Lola and Etta and the LGBTQ community in San Francisco. For “no place like home”, she captured a communal meal at The Convent Arts Collective, a living-working space for artists. As a finalist, Driehaus received a $1,500 scholarship award and a Hearst Medallion.

Presently, 106 colleges and universities with accredited undergraduate journalism schools are eligible to participate in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Funded and administered for 57 years by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, the Journalism Program awards up to $500,000 in scholarships, grants and stipends annually.

To view Driehaus’ work, visit her website at

For more information on the Ohio University School of Visual Communication, visit