Franklin College journalism student Erica Irish placed first in the 33rd annual Thomas R. Keating Competition hosted by the Indianapolis Press Club in November.
Irish, a junior, and nine other students from Indiana colleges and universities were selected to participate in the writing competition where, in five hours, each student had to interview, write and file a well-written feature piece about the topic: “Downtown Indianapolis – Behind the Scenes.” Irish won a $3,000 cash prize for her first-place story about a pop-up homeless ministry that serves the city of Indianapolis once a month.
“It was an honor to meet and work alongside a new set of peers, many of whom are the future faces of American journalism” Irish said. “Each of the stories we covered, as well as our individual approaches to our assignments, were driven by sensitivity, empathy, and a mission to reveal the humanity of Indianapolis, just as Thomas Keating achieved in his great career.”
Keating, a popular former Indianapolis Star columnist and Lilly Endowment executive, is the inspiration behind the contest. He died in 1985 at the age of 45. The Lilly Endowment underwrites a portion of the competition each year, which, since its inception in 1986, has awarded more than $158,000 to Indiana college and university students.
Irish was one of 42 students from around the state to enter the contest. A panel of judges chose the 10 finalists, each of whom received a $100 cash prize and a copy of the book Indiana Faces and Other Places, a collection of Keating’s work for The Star from 1966-1982.
On campus, Irish is a journalism, public relations and political science major and co-executive editor of The Franklin, the college’s student-run newspaper. She also interns part-time at WFYI, Indianapolis’ PBS affiliate. A graduate of Perry Meridian High School, Irish is the daughter of Eric and Charise Irish of Indianapolis.
Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.
POSTED Dec 3, 2019