By Elaine Pugh
Ole Miss Zing
Marianna Breland of Forest has earned dozens of awards and honors during her four years at the University of Mississippi, but her recent national Hearst Award may top them all.
On the heels of being among 10 seniors inducted this spring into the 2012 Ole Miss Hall of Fame – the university’s highest overall honor – Breland has won fifth place in the 2012 Hearst Enterprise Reporting Competition. The annual event is part of the 52nd annual William Randolph Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program.
Ninety-three students from 53 universities participated in the program’s second writing competition of the academic year. Breland received a $1,000 scholarship, with a matching grant going to the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Of the five scholarship winners, she is the only one from Mississippi and from the SEC. The third-place winner is from the University of Missouri, which joins Ole Miss in the SEC this summer.
Breland’s winning entry originated last spring semester when the Meek School’s students enrolled in the Delta Project, a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College journalism class, spent their spring break reporting in Greenville. They generated two dozen in-depth essays, which were made available to Mississippi Press Association member newspapers and published in the fall in a magazine format titled “Whatever Happened to Main Street.”
Breland’s article appeared in Greenville’s Delta Democrat Times newspaper on Oct 10, 2011. Her assignment was to cover the rise and fall of the towboat industry in the Mississippi River town.