Varad Diwate, junior in journalism and mass communication, was selected as the 2015 Hugh Sidey Scholarship in Print Journalism for his essay titled "Finding the voice in the White House."
Diwate’s winning essay focused on the challenges that reporters today have in covering the White House, as a result of an increasingly guarded presidency, a surge in legal battles between the executive branch and the media over information leaks and a decline in public trust of the media’s ability to report accurately and fairly. Diwate described Sidey’s insightful analyses of the presidents he covered in the White House as the result of having close relationships with his subjects.
"Aspiring print journalists today might wonder: what is the key to practicing journalism as it was done a few decades ago?," Diwate wrote in his essay. "It all comes down to the basics taught in an introductory journalism class: forming long-lasting relations on the beat and tactful research for a story. For journalists like Hugh Sidey, covering the presidency was not an exception to this basic lesson."
Diwate is the first international student selected to receive the Hugh Sidey Scholarship in Print Journalism since it was first awarded in 2007. A panel of judges from both in and out of Greenlee review essay submissions to determine which one best puts into context the implications of Hugh Sidey’s belief that the U.S. presidency is the most highly sought after and scrutinized office on earth.
"It feels great that I was chosen as the Sidey scholar this year," Diwate said. "Looking at the some of the past winners of the scholarship, it’s an honor that I will be one of them."
Diwate will receive a $5,000 scholarship and will go on an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.
"We consider Varad one of our top journalism students," said Director Michael Bugeja. "I’ve had the pleaseure of teaching him in Media Ethics and can attest that he takes reporting—especially poliitcal reporting—very seriously. I have no doubt that he will distinguish himself as journalist whether he works here or abroad after he graduates."
The runner-up was Danielle Ferguson, whose essay, "Back to Basics: The Core Values of an American Journalist," discussed the role of journalists in covering the American presidency and how Hugh Sidey serves as a role model for jouranlists today.