For the second time in three years, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University has finished first in the Hearst Foundation Intercollegiate Writing Competition, winning $10,000 for the school.

ASU journalism students beat out entries from Northwestern University and the University of Missouri for first place in the prestigious annual competition. The school also placed fifth in the intercollegiate broadcast news contest.

ASU won the Hearst competition in 1990, placed second in 1991 and also won the broadcast writing competition in 1991.

For journalism schools, winning the Hearst competition is like winning the NCAA basketball championship," Doug Anderson, director of the Cronkite School, said.

Nearly all of the ASU entries appeared in the State Press, ASU's 21,000-circulation student newspaper. Points earned in a series of six monthly contests are tallied to determine the winners of the competition. The broadcast news competition takes place over a single month.

Three Cronkite students are among eight finalists who qualified for individual writing championships to be held later this month in San Francisco. Paul Coro placed first in sportswriting and Mike Burgess took first in spot news. Michele Roberts, who accumulated her points in the in-depth writing and feature-writing categories, also qualified for the championships.

Virginia Silva and Lisa Leathers both finished in the broadcast news top ten, earning the right to compete for individual honors in San Francisco.

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