The 52nd annual Hearst National Journalism Awards Championship was the culmination of the 2011-2012 monthly competitions. 29 finalists with top scores in those 14 competitions gathered in San Francisco 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 and multimedia finalists, along with program judges, journalism deans, and special guests convened the second week of June for this special event.
The eight writing finalists interviewed San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. They wrote a news story based on the interview and a personality/profile article. In addition, they researched and wrote an on-the-spot article about the burgeoning cycling trend in the city.
The photo finalists were given two assignments: a picture story about an individual who is part of a San Francisco subculture and a single "personal vision" image.
The radio and television finalists' assignment was to find a story that reflects the role of technology in tracking personal information and related privacy concerns.
The multimedia finalists' assignment was to find a story about the city’s competitive housing market and the ways in which residents are finding solutions to deal with it.
The judges reviewed the finalists' pieces Thursday, June 7th, and the winners were announced that evening at the final awards ceremony.