University of Montana senior Clark Hodges of Billings placed third in the national William Randolph Hearst Journalism Competition held in San Francisco earlier this month.
Hodges earned an all-expenses paid trip to the live competition by placing in a preliminary round in the radio reporting category. All five radio finalists were flown to San Francisco, given a topic, cab fare and one day to produce a radio story on privacy in the digital age.
Hodges explored the notion that mobile telephones have become more like wallets because of their ability to hold information about bank accounts, credit cards and passwords. Hodges spoke with people who had lost their phones and a cell phone company representative about how to protect information stored on a digital device. His work earned him a trophy and $3,000 at the culmination of the competition held June 4-8.
The Hearst Awards are known as the Pulitzer Prizes of college journalism and feature competitions in writing, photography, radio, television and multimedia. Students from accredited schools of journalism compete in contests throughout the academic year. Twenty-nine students were invited to compete in the 52nd annual national competition based on their performance in the preliminary competitions.
UM placed ninth overall in the year-long contest. The Hearst Journalism Awards program was founded in 1960 to provide support and encouragement for college journalism programs and students. More than $500,000 in prize money was awarded to students and their schools in the 2011-2012 academic year.
Hodges graduated from UM last month. He is the son of Jill and Dean Hodges of Billings.