Journalism Students Earn Two of Top Three Honors at Prestigious Keating Competition
Campus News

Alexa Shrake and Taylor Wooten

Franklin College journalism students claimed two of the top three awards in the 35th annual Thomas R. Keating Competition. Junior Alexa Shrake, a multimedia journalism student from Martinsville, placed second, while senior Taylor Wooten, a multimedia journalism student from Clarksville, placed third.

The annual writing contest, sponsored by the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, draws the interest of numerous students from colleges and universities around the state who must submit two published articles as part of their contest applications. From there, 10 finalists are selected and invited to compete against one another to see who can write the best feature article on deadline. The winners walk away with cash prizes as well as bragging rights.

Of the 10 finalists chosen, six of them represented Franklin College, while other institutions represented included Goshen College, Ball State University and Indiana University. The students were invited to travel to Indianapolis on Friday, Nov. 12 for the two-day event to attend an informal dinner and participate in one-on-one sessions with seasoned journalists, who provided feedback on the students’ submitted work. On Saturday, the 10 finalists were given five hours to report and write an article on the topic of “Indianapolis in flux.” Students were encouraged to focus on the pandemic, racial tensions or construction in downtown Indianapolis. The students roamed the streets of downtown Indianapolis to find their inspiration and interview sources, before returning to the office of the Indianapolis Business Journal to write their stories. Following their deadline, they received a tour of the offices while judges reviewed their work. The top three students were celebrated, and all the finalists were recognized, at an awards banquet in downtown Indianapolis that evening.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Franklin College has been represented among the finalists, as well as the fourth year Franklin College students have placed in the top three. A Franklin College student took the top honor in 2019 and shared top honors in 2020.

Keating, a popular former Indianapolis Star columnist and Lilly Endowment Inc. 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 nearly $170,000 to college and university students in Indiana.

In addition to Shrake and Wooten, fellow Franklin College finalists included:

Tabby Fitzgerald, a junior from Indianapolis.

Isaac Gleitz, a senior from Corydon.

Haley Pritchett, a junior from Greenwood.

Carolina Puga Mendoza, a senior from West Chester, Ohio.

For more information, contact the Franklin College Office of Communications at (317) 738-8185. 

POSTED Nov 23, 2021