COLLEGE PARK (6/7/19) — University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism alumnus James Crabtree-Hannigan won one of the most prestigious writing competitions in college journalism on Thursday.

Crabtree-Hannigan was named winner of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program National Writing Championship Thursday after an intense, multi-day competition this week in San Francisco.

The William Randolph Hearst Foundation named Crabtree-Hannigan a finalist in the competition last month. He was among 29 students selected from a record 1,351 entries in the program’s 14 monthly competitions.

He was one of eight students competing in the writing division. Earlier this year, Crabtree-Hannigan placed fourth in the awards program’s breaking news competition for “Report finds DJ Durkin struggled to lead Maryland football, didn’t rein in abusive coach.”

“In his four years at  Merrill College, James displayed the tenacity, skill and love of journalism we hope to instill in our students,” said Professor George Solomon, director of the college’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. “In covering and directing coverage of the June 2018 death of University of Maryland defensive lineman Jordan McNair, James showed ability and professionalism far beyond his years.

“He has a great future, and is a model for students to emulate.”

From June 1 to June 5, Hearst Awards finalists in writing, photography, radio, television and multimedia divisions competed against each other in “rigorous, on-the-spot assignments.” Judges made the assignments and selected winners based on that work and work submitted throughout the year.

Crabtree-Hannigan rose to the top of the writing division after the competition. His first-place prize is $10,000 in scholarship money.

He was sports editor of The Diamondback newspaper and covered the Super Bowl this year for the Povich Center and Capital News Service.

His career at The Diamondback included beat coverage, editing, investigative reporting and, finally, directing the sports department.

The Hearst Journalism Awards Program was founded in 1960. Since then, it has awarded more than $13 million in scholarships and grants for the very best work by student journalists.

James Crabtree-Hannigan, left, was among the sports journalists who participated in a panel discussion about Maryland's response to the death of football player Jordan McNair last year. Also pictures: Rick Maese, Christine Brennan, David Steele and Dave Zirin.
James Crabtree-Hannigan, left, was among the sports journalists who participated in a panel discussion about Maryland’s response to the death of football player Jordan McNair last year. Also pictured: Rick Maese, Christine Brennan, David Steele and Dave Zirin.

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles
aapyles@umd.edu
301-405-1321