The 50th annual Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship was the culmination of the 2009-2010 monthly competitions. 25 finalists with top scores in those competitions gathered in New York City to demonstrate their skills in on-the-spot assignments and compete for additional scholarship awards of up to $5,000. The writing, photojournalism, radio broadcast, television broadcast finalists and the multimedia competition winner, along with program judges, journalism deans, and special guests convened the second week of June for this special event.
The eight writing finalists interviewed New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They produced a news story of the interview and a personality/profile about him. In addition, they researched and wrote an on-the-spot article telling an immigrant's story. The photo finalists were given three assignments: a story about the Manhattan coastline, an image from the city's new High Line Park and a single of New York City at night. The radio and television finalists' assignment was to find a story about security in the city in light of the attempted Times Square bombing earlier in the year. The judges received the completed assignments by the morning of June 11th for review. The winners were announced that evening during the awards ceremony at the Hearst Tower.