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A story by Marcella Mercer, a spring 2018 University of Nebraska-Lincoln journalism graduate, has been selected as the “Best Article of the Year” from among 605 entries at the Hearst National Championships in San Francisco.

Mercer’s winning entry, published in the Feb. 10 Journal Star, chronicled the poignant relationship between a Ugandan father and his dying son.

The announcement was made during the 58th annual Hearst Championships, where 28 finalists competed in writing, photography, radio, television and multimedia categories — a competition often considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism.

The UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications finished third in both the writing and multimedia competitions and fifth overall among the 105 college journalism programs eligible to compete.

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Mercer, a Nebraska City native, will begin a nine-month Fulbright program in Malaysia in September. Her award marks the second consecutive year that a UNL journalism student has won the “Best Article of the Year.” Lauren Brown-Hulme, a spring graduate from Prairie Village, Kansas, won last year for her profile of a young street preacher in Whiteclay.

Tyler Schank, a UNL journalism major from Omaha, took second place in this year’s national multimedia category. Mercer and Chris Bowling, another UNL spring journalism graduate and former Journal Star intern, were finalists in the national writing category.

Kayla Wolf, a University of Missouri graduate and former photo intern at the Journal Star, was a finalist in the Hearst photography championship and won this year's "Single Photo Award."

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