Two Klein College students, Robert DiRienzo, KLN '17, and Hannah McComsey, KLN '18, were selected as finalists in the Hearst Journalism Awards, within the Television 2 category.
The Hearst Journalism Awards Program recognizes students with outstanding performances in print, photo, radio, television and multimedia journalism platforms in various journalistic fields. This year, there were 74 entries from 43 schools across the United States.
One of DiRienzo's pieces reported on how the opioid epidemic is affecting the Northeast section of Philadelphia. The other focused on a waitress at a Mayfair diner, who was considered somewhat of a celebrity in her community and, as DiRienzo described her, "a total character!"
Professor Neil Ortiz submitted both of DiRienzo's pieces, which secured DiRienzo as the seventh place finalist.
"The fact that I was up against [74 other entries], I'm really flattered overall. I think it really speaks to the journalism program we have at Temple. I had a lot of help from Professor Ortiz and Professor [George] Miller," DiRienzo said. "I'm really surprised and in awe."
McComsey came in ninth place for a piece she did during the five weeks she spent studying in the Klein College South Africa Global Opportunities summer program. During her time there, she wrote piece about a temporary relocation area in Cape Town.
"When the World Cup came to South Africa, they needed space to build all the stadiums," McComsey said. "A lot of the poorer people in the area and a lot of homeless people were relocated and they were told they'd be moved within a couple months after the World Cup, but it turns out these people have been living there for eight plus years."
She talked to one woman, who was spending her eighth year in the location, who spoke about the living conditions with little food, inadequate water and small living spaces.
"It's really humbling," McComsey said. "Hearst has a great reputation for journalism and to be recognized by a company with such a great reputation is really special."
The two students were co-anchors on Temple Update during the fall 2017 semester, making their accomplishments even more special. "It's always been a little bit of a friendly competition between [us] because we recognize the talent in each other and push each other to go the extra mile," DiRienzo said. "Our relationship is based on wanting to see each other succeed."
Currently, DiRienzo is a fill-in helicopter reporter for NBC in New York. This semester, McComsey worked as a production intern for Good Morning America.