A pair of Trojans have earned national recognition for their coverage of the news of Troy University.
Among the top student journalists nationally in the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2019 Mark of Excellence Awards are Brady Talbert and Pawan Khanal.
Talbert, a senior broadcast journalism major from Alabaster, Alabama, earned national finalist honors in TV Breaking News Reporting for his coverage of an April 2019 tornado that struck Troy.
Talbert is the student news director for Troy TrojanVision and said after the tornado hit, he grabbed his personal equipment and headed out his door.
“It was just impulse to figure out what was going on and to report on it. I didn’t know it would become nationally recognized reporting, I was just trying to serve our viewers the best way I could,” Talbert shared. “Walking over damage, speaking to residents and seeing the city so shaken up was a real eye opener.
Journalists work through tough times to share stories and take people places they may not get to go. That’s what I was simply trying to do.”
Khanal, a senior physics and mathematics major from Katmandu, Nepal, was named a national finalist in Sports Photography for“Chasing a Loose Ball,” a perfectly-timed photo he snagged during a Trojans basketball game that captured the intense emotions on the faces of the players – and one ball headed right toward his camera.
Khanal is a photographer for the school’s student newspaper, the Tropolitan, and said he loves getting to go on the court to cover Troy basketball games and being that close to the action is exhilarating. Receiving national recognition for what he loves to do is validation of his efforts.
“I joined the Tropolitan in 2018 because I wanted to get involved on campus,” Khanal said. “Having my name printed on the Tropolitan as a credit for the photo that I take, always gives me a feeling that I am doing something worthwhile.
“Starting out as a novice, and now getting an award for my efforts makes working for the Tropolitan as one of the best experiences that I will have at Troy. “
Talbert and Khanal were eligible for the national contest after being named winners in the SPJ regional competition where four other Trojans were also recognized for their work.
“The awards honor the best in student journalism. Judges were directed to choose only entries they felt were outstanding examples, worthy of a national honor,” said Dr. Robbyn Taylor, a lecturer in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication who serves as Student Publications Adviser.
“If judges felt no entries rose to that level of excellence, no award was given – but two Troy students were found to have created exemplary work,”
The last time TROY students placed nationally in SPJ’s awards competition was 2008 for Best Television Newscast, for a show that contained Josh Gauntt’s and Mark Vaughn’s coverage the deadly Enterprise tornado that destroyed Enterprise High School. In March, six Trojans were honored in regional competition.
Dr. Robbyn E.B. Taylor contributed to this story.