Two LSU Manship School Students Win Hearst Journalism Awards in Audio, Sports Writing Competitions

May 7, 2024


Lizzie Falcetti


Mel Bridges

BATON ROUGE—The Hearst Journalism Awards Program, known for recognizing excellence in college-level journalism, has announced its latest round of winners, and two students from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication have reason to celebrate.

Mel Bridges, a junior studying broadcast journalism from Annapolis, Maryland, earned 7th place in the Hearst Journalism Awards Program's Audio News/Features Competition, marking a significant achievement for KLSU, LSU's student-run radio station. This is a first for KLSU, and Bridges is thrilled to bring this honor to their beloved institution.

“I am the first KLSU reporter to place for a Hearst Award, which is an honor on its own,” said Bridges.

"I still can't believe that I got it!" said Bridges. "I'm so proud and honored not only to have created a Hearst-worthy piece of content, but to bring a Hearst Award to a place that I love so much."

Bridges, who serves as the news director at KLSU and hosts the station's punk show, The Degeneration, as DJ Dizzy, submitted two audio news packages for consideration. One featured an interview with LSU Executive Vice President & Provost Roy Haggerty about LSU's plans to integrate AI in the near future, while the other explored the world of influencer culture with local TikTok sensation Seth J. Trotter. Both pieces were scored as one winning package.

Lizzie Falcetti, a sophomore studying journalism from Orange County, California, received recognition for her outstanding sports writing, tying for 14th place in the Hearst Sports Writing Competition. Falcetti’s winning piece is titled, "Do athletes make more money in the pros or in college.”  Her story, initially a class project published in the Reveille, focused on LSU female athletes' dominance in making name, image and likeness deals. Falcetti expressed gratitude for the support and guidance she received from her professors throughout the reporting and writing process.

Falcetti, who serves as a sports reporter for the Reveille, as well as president of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the 2024 Olympics Project (a Manship School study-abroad program centered on covering the Summer 2024 Olympics in Paris), aspires to pursue a career in sports journalism after college.

"Being a top-20 finalist just motivates me to continue learning how to be a better journalist," said Falcetti.

Bridges will be competing in the Hearst National Championships in June, representing LSU and showcasing their talent and dedication of Manship School students on a national stage.

For more information, visit the Hearst Awards Program website.

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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 dual MMC/Law degree.

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.