Loyola Marymount University was well represented at the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards held Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.
Evelyn McDonnell, associate professor and director of journalism, won first-place in the Obituary/In Appreciation, TV/Music/Art Personalities Category for “The Role of Struggle in Aretha Franklin’s Path to Greatness.” Regarding the feature, which appeared in Billboard, the judges said, “Truly a loving appreciation. And no less a painful and joyous portrait.” Her book “Women Who Rock” received third-place in the Non-Fiction Book category. Mukta Mohan ’14 joined McDonnell at the awards ceremony as one of the talented female contributors to “Women Who Rock,” a collection of essays celebrating influential women in music.
Joseph Wakelee-Lynch, editor of LMU Magazine, placed second in the One-on-One Interview, Other Arts Personalities category for his conversation with Evelyn McDonnell as part of the Off Press podcast series. During the episode, Wakelee-Lynch and McDonnell discuss female artists who have confronted and overcome glass ceilings, limited air play, and musical prejudice while shaping America’s musical heritage.
Two LMU students were presented with awards in student journalism. Sofia Miera ’22 is a journalism major who took home third-place in Best Arts or Entertainment Profile for a Her Campus article “Mel Weyn on Touring with ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’” Shepherd “Carter” Fife ’20 is an English major who also received a third-place award for Best Commentary/Critique for “The Idiosyncratic Genius of Flying Lotus: ‘Flamagra’ Album Review.”
A couple English Department alumni were among the LA Press Club honorees. Patrick Shanley ’16 won first place in the Commentary Analysis/Trend category for his piece “Games May Be Toning Down Sexual Content, But Not Violence.” He is currently the gaming writer/editor at The Hollywood Reporter, where he first worked as an intern while a student at LMU. Joining him was Drew Tewksbury ’04 who finished in third place for his work as a LA Times book critic. Tewksbury was recently on-campus discussing cultural criticism in the Instagram age with LMU journalism students.
“This is the first year the Journalism program has entered student and faculty work in these awards, and I’m thrilled we had several wins. It was also rewarding to see our alum interacting with our current students, demonstrating that there are vital careers to be had in journalism,” said McDonnell.
This year, the LA Press Club also honored Quentin Tarantino with the Distinguished Storyteller Award, as well as Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo Movement, with the Impact Award. Rosanna Arquette presented the award to Burke praising her for “a phrase that shattered the silence.” Many speakers throughout the night commented on future challenges facing women and the press.
View the complete list of winners here.