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University of Iowa News Release


March 2, 2007

UI Journalism Student Places Third in Hearst Writing Contest

A University of Iowa student place third in a prestigious national writing competition: the William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program.

Tyson Wirth, an Iowa City native and a junior in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ School of Journalism and Mass Communication, was recognized in the college sports writing category for an article about prison sports in Iowa.

The award-winning article, “Playing for Time in the Big House,” was published Dec. 11, 2006 in The Daily Iowan. It explored prison sports’ effects, benefits and detriments, along with the lack of comprehensive study of those dimensions. Wirth received a $1,000 scholarship.

“I feel truly honored and fortunate to have been selected a Hearst Award winner,” Wirth said. “A whole team of people who did not get singled out deserve equal credit, including professor Stephen Berry, DI writing coach Jennifer Wagner, photographer Ben Roberts, videographer Aaron Preusch, editor Meghan Sims and a horde of others who provided invaluable insight or help. Both the UI and the DI are extremely fortunate to employ people who care so passionately about their work and the people they work with.”

For the sports writing competition, Wirth’s story was up against work by 97 students from 58 schools nationwide.

Wirth worked as a Daily Iowan sports reporter covering football, rowing and football recruiting from May 2005 to May 2006. He served as DI sports editor until January 2007, when he left Iowa City to study abroad in Viterbo, Italy. Wirth has also covered basketball and football as a stringer for the Associated Press.

Hearst’s Journalism Awards Program is conducted under the auspices of journalism schools accredited by the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication. The program consists of six monthly writing competitions, three photojournalism competitions, two radio and two broadcast news competitions, with championships in all divisions. The program awards more than $500,000 in scholarships and grants each year. For details, visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,;