Lehman’s Bronx Journal Wins Prestigious Murray Kempton Award for Journalism

December 28, 2011 1:50 pm Journalism, Communication, and Theatre Dept, Students


Lehman College Multimedia Center

The Bronx Journal, edited by Lehman Professors Christine McKenna and Elaine Rivera (Journalism, Communication, and Theatre), has won The City University of New York’s 2011 Murray Kempton Award for Journalism in the ‘Best Web Publication’ category. Lehman College junior and Bronx Journal staff writer Basilisa Alonso has also won the Kempton Award for ‘Best Feature Story.’

The judges for this year’s awards wrote that they were “impressed with [the site’s] clean design, ease of navigation, scope of coverage (from upcoming events to sports, culture and opinion), and ambition, which appears to meet Bronx residents’ need for essential local information.”

Alonso’s feature story, “Recycling to Survive, Some Face Abuse,” was recognized by the judges for its “heartbreaking look at homelessness, undocumented immigrants who survive by gathering cans and bottles and cashing them in for five-cent deposits. The story is broadly sourced, using not only interviews, but also statements from public agencies.”

“When I took over as the Journalism, Communication, Theatre chair in the fall of 2010, my goal was to create the best undergraduate journalism program in the City,” says Professor Miguel Pérez. “Now we have evidence that we are on our way there.” Professor Pérez is an award-winning reporter, columnist, and radio and television talk-show host, whose journalism career spans thirty-five years.

The Bronx Journal is created and maintained by Lehman College journalism students who take The Bronx Journal Workshop, which is part of the Multimedia Journalism Program. The site features text, multimedia, and broadcast stories from The Bronx Journal television program, hosted by Professor Pérez and aired over BronxNet, Cablevision (channel 67), and Verizon Fios (channel 33). JCT Professors Christine McKenna and Elaine Rivera serve along with Professor Pérez as faculty advisors for the site.

The award is named for acclaimed journalist Murray Kempton (1917-1997). The judges for the 2011 awards were Tom Robbins, investigative journalist-in-residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Senior Editor Sheila McKenna and Staff Writer Neill S. Rosenfeld, both of CUNY’s Office of Communications and Marketing. McKenna and Rosenfeld worked with Murray Kempton at New York Newsday.

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