LSU Senior Earns Sixth Place in National Journalism Competition

April 14, 2023

Aria Pons

BATON ROUGE—LSU Manship School of Mass Communication broadcast journalism senior Aria Pons placed sixth in the Television Features News Competition of the 2022 — 2023 Hearst Journalism Awards Program. The competition received 77 entries from 47 schools. Pons’ win ties for the highest Manship School student’s placement in the competition since 2013.  

“I was shocked when I heard the news, but truly so honored that I was even considered,” Pons said. “It feels like a dream.” 

The Florence, Alabama native earned recognition for two broadcast news packages she created as the station manager and a sports reporter for Tiger TV, LSU’s official student-run media organization. Pons’ news package, “Sports Betting is Trending Up,” focuses on how sports betting is becoming popular in states such as Louisiana. In the senior’s other news package, “Alcohol 101: What to Know Before You Go Drinking in College,” she reports on the misconceptions college students have about alcohol consumption.  

“My goal in creating these pieces and any piece that I do is to inform the masses through journalism in any way that I can,” Pons said. “These ideas led to stories that I thought the public should know about.” 

Professional-in-Residence and Tiger TV Adviser Cindy Carter, who submitted the news packages on behalf of the station manager, said she cannot think of anyone who deserves this recognition more than Pons.  

“Aria really embodies everything we love about our students in that she is intelligent, enthusiastic, curious and anxious to learn,” Carter said. “It means so much to me that she has earned this well-deserved honor because I have witnessed her growth from ‘newbie’ Tiger TV reporter to current station manager and it is overwhelming how proud I am of her.”  

Pons is set to compete in the semi-final round, where she will submit additional entries. Four finalists from the semi-final round will be chosen to compete in the National Television Championship. 

Founded in 1960, the Hearst Journalism Awards Program supports, encourages and assists journalism education at the university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in writing, photojournalism, audio, television and multimedia competitions. Read more about the 2022— 2023 Hearst Television Features News Competition winners: 

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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.