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Media, Communications and Journalism

Gruner Journalism Awards: Call for Entries

Recognizing outstanding Central Valley journalism

It’s time to recognize the best of journalism in the Central Valley with the 36th annual George F. Gruner Awards. We invite you to submit outstanding work from your news publication in 2023. 

New this year: Digital-only news sites are invited to enter. 

The prizes for meritorious public service in journalism are the highest honors in the competition, with awards of $500 in each division. Along with the public service awards, other categories will honor: 

Best news story
Best feature story
Best news or feature photo
Best sports photo
Best sports story
Best editorial
Best column
Best writing
The competition is open to publications and digital-only news sites in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Stanislaus and Tulare counties in two divisions:

Large dailies (Fresno and Modesto Bees and Bakersfield Californian) and digital-only news sites
Smaller daily and weekly newspapers

Deadline for entries is Feb. 9, 2024. Publications may submit one entry per category. Series or multi-story packages are allowed, as are stories with more than one byline. Entries must have been published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023. Prizes will not necessarily be awarded in every category. Entries must be submitted using our online form, at this link:

The awards are named in honor of George F. Gruner, who retired as the editor of the Fresno Bee in 1990 after a distinguished career. The Department of Media, Communications and Journalism at California State University, Fresno, administers the competition. All judging will be done by professional, out-of-area journalists. As always, there is no charge to enter.

Winners will be announced at a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, 2023. All entrants and publication representatives are invited.   

If you have questions, please email this year’s contest coordinators, Royal Calkins ( and Brenda Moore (, alums of both Fresno State and the Fresno Bee.

We look forward to receiving your entries by Feb. 9 and to seeing you at the ceremony on April 23.

What MCJ Students Learn

We teach students the importance and value of media, communications and journalism and how to communicate ethically and responsibly in those fields. Blending theory, professional practice and hands-on learning, we build leaders who can think critically, write well and thrive in rapidly changing environments.

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Careers that an MCJ student can have.

Our Graduates

MCJ graduates are well represented on the staffs of many of America’s finest newspapers, radio and television stations, broadcast and film production companies, advertising agencies and public relations firms.

Graduates in Ad/PR are working for ad and PR agencies that include J. Walter Thompson; Foote, Cone, and Belding; Chiat/Day; Publicis, JP Marketing, Jeffrey Scott Agency, Google, Facebook, Twitter, American Airlines, Caltrans, and Coca-Cola. The department’s advertising students regularly finish high in regional and national competitions sponsored by the American Advertising Federation.

Graduates in broadcast and multiplatform journalism (BMJ) are heavily represented on the staffs of local, regional and national radio and television stations. They also can be found at CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, PBS and NPR.

MCJ graduates in digital journalism are working for newspapers such as the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Fresno Bee and other major newspapers and websites.

Film and media arts graduates are creative storytellers who communicate through writing, photography, video, audio, and the web. Alumni in multimedia production are on all the staffs at local television stations and multiple production companies. Some are working on network television shows such as Survivor.