The William Randolph Hearst Foundation has named Landon Miller, a Reynolds School of Journalism senior, the top winner in their 2014-2015 television broadcast news competition. Miller's submission to the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, a news package on land sailing in Nevada, was selected as the overall winner from 66 entrants from 44 schools.
This win marks the first time a Reynolds School journalism student has won the top recognition in the Hearst Journalism Awards competition. Miller will receive a $2,600 prize and the Reynolds School will also receive a matching grant from the Foundation.
"We're so proud of Landon for this achievement," said Reynolds School Dean Al Stavitsky. "This speaks both to the national competitiveness of our students and the quality of our faculty."
"Learning I won first place was a real shock. I am very humbled by this win," Miller said. "It's pretty cool to place first among other students from schools like Northwestern, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penn State, Arizona State and the University of Missouri."
Miller said studying journalism at the Reynolds School helped prepare him for this moment.
"The program has taught me to be creative and resourceful, take risks, experiment and embrace using technology when telling stories," Miller said. "When I went out to do the land-sailing story, all I had was a large camera. I decided to be creative and used my iPhone to shoot video from the passenger seat of the land sail. Doing this gave the viewer a different perspective, a first-hand perspective, of what it's like to sail at 50 mph on a dry lake bed."
Reynolds School Professor of Broadcast Kari Barber said she has seen an impressive transformation in Miller over the past two years.
"I've seen Landon mature over the years," she said. "He's made strides in being both a leader and a team player. He's a full-time student who has worked part-time in a variety of professional broadcast positions, but he remains very involved with and connected to the Reynolds School. He volunteers for all opportunities that are available, leaves his ego behind and always works hard."
Winning first place in this competition comes at a good time for Miller as he is preparing to graduate in May.
"With this win, his talent and work ethic, he can go work in broadcast news in any market and play on the big stage with anyone in the field," Barber said.
Miller, having worked in news since his junior year of high school, has been making strides to achieve success for many years.
"I did an internship at KTVN Channel 2 News when I was a junior in high school, then got a job at KKOH-AM radio as a senior in high school and worked there part-time for the past three-and-a-half years doing everything - reporting on-air, producing, filling in for traffic, engineering talk shows," Miller said. "I also did a web producer internship at KOLO-TV and then got hired as a reporter at KTVN Channel 2 News last year."
"This win means a lot to me," he said. "It's my goal to add this to my resume and have it help me land a job that allows me to be a utility player where I have a chance to do everything in a dynamic, fast-paced news organization," he said. "I am grateful to my teachers Kari Barber and Erin Breen who have taught me so much in the classroom. They are both two very special people who I will remember forever."