JACKSON, Tenn. – June 2, 2008 – Brittany Howerton, a 2008 Union graduate, has been named to the inaugural UWIRE 100 list, which honors the nation’s top 100 collegiate journalists.
Howerton, of Church Hill, Tenn., graduated May 17 with a major in public relations and advertising. She served as managing editor of the Cardinal & Cream, Union’s student newspaper, and played a key role in the coverage of the Feb. 5 tornado that devastated the Union campus.
“As the campus lay in shambles, Brittany led the staff to move beyond their own problems and concerns and focus on telling the story,” said Union journalism professor Michael Chute. “We set up a make-shift newsroom in Penick Academic Center, which was also damaged by the tornado, and the facility had no heat. Students worked in coats and gloves in the frigid newsroom, making periodic treks out to the devastated areas to cover the news events.”
Among other stories, Howerton reported on the campus visit by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, and she interviewed Union students who were most seriously injured by the tornado.
“She told students’ stories of survival and how the storm had affected their lives,” Chute said. “On a couple of occasions, she also became a spokesperson for media outlets as one who was an eyewitness to the events. And, when students returned to campus two weeks later, Brittany wrote the main story on classes resuming.
“Through this coverage, Brittany exemplified the very best of journalism in that she put her own struggles aside and worked tirelessly to inform a nation clamoring for information about the storm and its effects,” Chute continued. “Her stories helped put a human face on a natural disaster that made national headlines.”
UWIRE is a free membership organization for college student media and is operated by CBS College Sports Network , a CBS company.
Howerton was selected for the UWIRE 100 from more than 500 nominations submitted by students and educators at 132 schools. A UWIRE panel evaluated each candidate based on demonstrated excellence in the field of collegiate journalism.
The UWIRE 100 students hail from 66 different schools, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities. The full list of the UWIRE 100 is available at uwire.com/100.
Howerton is the daughter of Bob and Sharon Howerton. She has accepted a position as a staff writer for the Alabama Baptist newspaper.