LSU Student Reporters Take Home 15 Awards for Journalism Excellence in Regional SPJ Competition

June 29, 2021

BATON ROUGE—Students from LSU Student Media outlets and LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication won 15 awards for journalism excellence in the 2021 Diamond Journalism Awards, a regional competition sponsored annually by the Arkansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), recognizing journalism excellence in Arkansas and bordering states.

Reporters from The Reveille newspaper earned seven awards in breaking news, features, editorials, sports and commentary. Journalists from Tiger TV took home six awards in features, sports and business. Reporter Sofia McKentry won first place in features, audio for her KLSU-FM piece on the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. And student reporters from the LSU Manship School News Service, an extension of the Manship School’s experiential journalism program, won first place in features, print/online for a four-part series on the Deacons for Defense and Justice, a group of armed Black men formed a half-century ago to protect Black neighborhoods from the Ku Klux Klan in Louisiana.

“This four-part series demonstrated excellent narrative storytelling techniques grounded by in-depth archival/document research and interviews,” the judges commented about the Deacons for Defense submission. “Each story in the series was compelling to read, and the cold-case subject at the center of the project was both riveting and revealing—and incredibly relevant as our nation grapples with its history of racial prejudice, discrimination and injustices. This effort was by far the best in the category. Kudos to all of the student reporters and editors involved in this effort.”

LSU Student Media and the Manship School proudly recognize the following student journalists who earned 2021 Diamond Awards:

  • Breaking News, Print/Online
    • 1st: “Residents at risk: LSU requires mandatory covid-19 testing,” Katherine Manuel and Anna Jones, The Reveille and
  • Features, Print/Online
    • 1st: “A half-century ago in Jonesboro, armed black men fought back,” Bailey Williams, Alyssa Berry, Matthew Clark, Sydney McGovern and Karli Carpenter, LSU Manship News Service
  • Features, Broadcast
    • 1st: Neurodiversity, Ally Kadlubar, LSU Tiger TV
    • 2nd: The interstate and air quality, Kendall Duncan, LSU Tiger TV
  • Editorials, Print/Online
    • 3rd: Editorials from The Reveille, Caleb Greene, Bailey Chauvin, Reed Darcey, The Reveille and
  • Sports, Print/Online
    • 1st: "Myles Brennan after LSU vs. Miss. State: Expect a leader, not a blamer" Jared Brodtmann, The Reveille and
    • 2nd: “ ‘Absolutely killed’: What went wrong for LSU and where to go from here?” Jared Brodtmann, The Reveille and
  • Sports, Broadcast
    • 1st: Burrow curtain call, Luke Chevalier, LSU Tiger TV
    • 2nd: “Softball pitcher keeps pushing,” Kendall Duncan, LSU Tiger TV
  • Business, All Platforms
    • 1st: “Shuttered casinos impact economy,” Ally Kadlubar, LSU Tiger TV
    • 3rd: “More house, less money,” Ally Kadlubar, LSU Tiger TV
  • Commentary, All Platforms
  • Feature, Audio
    • 1st: Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, Sofia McKentry, KLSU-FM

Winners of the 2021 SPJ Diamond Journalism Awards were announced June 18 in a virtual ceremony. See the full list of winners on the SPJ Arkansas Pro Chapter’s website.  

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LSU Student Media provides media experiences to students through The Reveille newspaper,, and The Reveille mobile app; Tiger TV; KLSU-FM radio; and the Gumbo yearbook. All four outlets are led and staffed by students, supported by professionals, and provide real-world experience for aspiring broadcasters, program directors, writers, editors, photographers and videographers, web producers, designers and others. Many participating students are pursuing majors through LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication.

LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication ranks among the strongest collegiate communication programs in the country, with its robust emphasis on media and public affairs. It offers undergraduate degrees in public relations, journalism, political communication, digital advertising and pre-law, along with four graduate degree programs: Master of Mass Communication, Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs, Certificate of Strategic Communication and a dual MMC/Law degree. Its public relations students were recently ranked the #1 team in the nation, and its digital advertising and student media teams frequently earn national recognition.