Seniors win national broadcast competition and appear on FOX News
A pair of broadcast students produced the winning segment about Proposition B.
May. 27, 2011
The School of Journalism was thrust into the national spotlight with the success of seniors Emily Spain and Blake Hanson who won the FOX News College Challenge and appeared on "FOX and Friends" on May 19.
The duo, which calls itself "Spanson," teamed up to report on the controversial Proposition B or, "The Puppy Mill Bill." A panel from FOX news judged the three-minute broadcast and notified Spain and Hanson of their victory May 9.
"I think that winning a contest like this opens people's eyes to you," professor Greeley Kyle said. "It raises your profile amongst other students. That's going to raise their profile when it comes time to send out resumes, talk to news directors."
Each received a $5,000 scholarship matched by $10,000 added to the J School scholarship fund.
Spain, Hanson and Kyle toured two studios, the control room and talked with an alum who is now a producer of "FOX and Friends" during their visit at FOX.
"I was just trying to take in all the sights and soak it all up," Spain said.
The pair also talked with an human resources representative who looked over their resumes and was highly impressed.
"She looked at their stuff and said, 'Wow, you guys have got it together, this is perfect, there is nothing I can say to improve this,'" Kyle said.
FOX offered a summer internship to Spain and Hanson, but both turned it down because of prior commitments. Hanson will report and anchor for KOMU, but said if the circumstances were different, he would love to work in New York for the summer.
Spain and Hanson have been interviewed for several publications since their win. Spain said this role reversal has helped refine her own skills.
"I think that seeing how we've been treated by the press is kind of interesting," she said. "To think 'OK, so this is how the people that I interview feel.' I think that was eye-opening."
For Kyle, the duo's success is just another step toward what he deems "world domination."
"I really hope that this builds a synergy and excitement on campus and in the J school that our students will go out there and actually dominate," he said. "From the world's best journalism school they're producing some of the world's best journalism - we just need to let people know about it."
Dominating they are, he said. Hanson has wasted no time since the win, and has been hard at work reporting the tornado in Joplin.
"I want to keep on winning awards and keep on covering big stories that are going on," he said.
Spain became engaged just weeks before her FOX appearance.
"This month has just been crazy," she said. "My head has kind of been up in the clouds for the past few weeks."
Looking to the future, Spain plans to apply for the Hearst Award and gain national recognition in a Society of Professional Journalists competition where she was recognized this year on a regional level.