Moody College of Communication

Winners

The inaugural competition for the Dan Rather Medals for News and Guts generated outstanding work from student and professional journalists across the country. The entries covered a range of topics – from city, county and federal organizations to school administration to for-profit companies. What they shared in common was a demonstrated commitment to reporting the tough stories of 2020 that needed to be told.

Madeleine Davison
2021 Student Media Award Winner

Madeleine Davison, a recent graduate of Syracuse University, is the collegiate winner for the story “Care and Capital.” Davison’s story explored nursing center violations among central New York for-profit facilities, and judges noted the “work and skill” were above and beyond student quality journalism. “Colorful, detailed interviews” pulled together “great use of data, information (and) information requests” into a well-crafted story. One judge noted, “The imagery in this piece cannot escape my mind.”

Tony Plohetski
2021 Professional Award Winner

Tony Plohetski of the Austin American-Statesman/KVUE received the professional prize for his “Lights. Camera. Violence.” series. The panel of judges lauded Plohetski’s work on the three-story series, which investigated the death of a 40-year-old Black father while in the custody of county law enforcement, as a “great example of dogged reporting.” Through “extraordinary” reporting and writing, Plohetski created a “compelling, rich narrative that strikes just the right tone between sorrow and outrage.”