Academics Arts and Humanities

Award-winning year for the School of Communication

From student publications to student-led programs, 2023-2024 proved to be a stellar year recognizing ’Canes excellence.
A collage of cover designs by Ibis Yearbook, Distraction magazine, and The Miami Hurricane student newspaper.

It has been a stellar year for the University of Miami student publications and media outlets of the School of Communication. Altogether the publications and student-led television shows have garnered an impressive number of awards. 

The Ibis yearbook received a Pacemaker award for 2023 by the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) at the University of Minnesota at the ACP National Conference in La Jolla, California. The Ibis yearbook also received the Best of Show Yearbook at the conference.

The Pacemaker is considered one of the most prestigious prizes in collegiate journalism.

Distraction magazine, a publication that highlights the students’ perspectives through edgy articles, colorful graphics, and photos, also received a Pacemaker award for its online edition at the conference. The online operations of the feature magazine was one of two feature publications receiving a Pacemaker. This was the 15th Pacemaker win for the Ibis, and the fifth for the online magazine.

A week later, Distraction was awarded three Crown Awards by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University, the only school to win multi-crowns, according to Carl “Randy” Stano, professor of practice at the School of Communication and adviser for the magazine. 

“These Pacemakers and Crowns are considered the Pulitzer awards for college publications,” said Stano. The magazine earned a gold crown for its print edition (2022-2023), a gold for its hybrid edition, and a silver for its online edition.

“Our student agencies have been recognized for excellence in their production of news, through compelling UMTV broadcasts, captivating narratives in The Miami Hurricane and Distraction, and cultivating features in the Ibis yearbook,” said Karin Wilkins, dean of the School of Communication.

“The cumulative awards captured across these student media demonstrate that we are the best place for student experience and academic education in journalism and media production,” she added. “We are proud of these student accomplishments, as well their contributions to our community.”

The recognition of the work done by these students show that “local journalism is critical to engaging informed citizens, essential for our democracy,” Wilkins continued. 

The student-run college television station UMTV has also won numerous national and regional awards over the 2023-2024 academic year. Its two live weekly shows, “NewsVision” and “SportsDesk”, received the national College Television Awards (CTA) in the News and Sports divisions, respectively. 

NewsVision @ 7pm | March 9, 2023 | UMTV Live from UMTV School of Communication on Vimeo.

Both shows were nominated in those categories for a fifth straight year. This year, UMTV special program “Flashpoint Florida: Focus on the 2022 Midterm Elections” was also one of the nominees in the CTA News category. This is one of the highest honors for journalism students in the country and is given by the same organization that gives out Emmy Awards.

“It's very rewarding to see our students succeed and for our program to earn this recognition on a national stage,” said Ben Ezzy, manager of broadcast operations and one of UMTV's faculty advisors. “Producing quality broadcasts and telling stories with impact is challenging, and I am consistently impressed and proud of the team we have working at UMTV.”

“NewsVision” and biannual long-form program “PrimeTime” also received the Society of Professional Journalists’ (SPJ) student national Mark of Excellence awards for Best All-Around TV Newscast and Best All-Around TV Magazine. In addition, UMTV programs and individual students have won dozens of awards in the national BEA Festival of Media Arts competition, the regional SPJ Mark of Excellence competition, the regional FABJ student competition, and the regional NATAS Suncoast student competition. 

The Miami Hurricane student newspaper was picked for an Apple Award as the Best News Web Site by the College Media Association.   

Editor-in-chief Jenny Jacoby, a junior, said that the newspaper’s success is due to the staff’s dedication and hard work, as well as its storied history. 

“The Hurricane has consistently shown up as a student newspaper for over 95 years, delivering factual reporting on the University campus and in Miami,” she said. “We also have decades of journalism behind us that have led the way for our current reporting. The Hurricane was there when students were being drafted for the Vietnam War, when students were storming campus during the Civil Rights Movement, and when students were navigating a global pandemic.

“We have reported under every campus president and era of leadership. This past excellence inspires us to report to the best of our ability in the current day with the hopes that one day it will be considered a part of UM history,” she added.