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Journalism Alum Wins Star Reporter of the Year Award

Jessica Savage’s coverage of city issues in Corpus Christi recognized by Texas Associated Press Managing Editors

Journalism alumna Jessica Savage was in the middle of her wedding celebrations in early April when she got the news that she’d won the coveted “Star Reporter of the Year” award from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors (TAPME) and the Headliners Foundation of Texas. 

The top honor is part of an annual competition that recognizes outstanding journalism in Texas’s daily newspapers. Savage, a reporter with the Corpus Christi Caller-Times since 2009, entered examples of her work covering the city’s economic development, tax incentives, road conditions and the possible building of a Schlitterbahn water park, in addition to a piece examining successful waterfront development in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Caller-Times City Editor Bro Krift says Savage is the kind of reporter that newspapers want on their staff. “She makes a city better,” says Krift. Of her work on city street conditions, Krift says Savage’s reporting pushed the city council to address and fix road problems.

In addition to the Star Reporter of the Year award, Savage was also awarded first place in the TAPME AAA division for Business Reporting. She also shared a third-place AAA Community Service category win with five of her Caller-Times colleagues, all of whom collaborated on a package of stories, charts and an interactive map about the city’s roads.

Savage is a 2006 graduate of the Division of Journalism at SMU Meadows, where she earned a B.A. in journalism and minored in business. During her senior year she served as editor of The Daily Campus. She says the Meadows journalism program gave her a solid foundation in ethics and news judgment that guides her work every day. She acknowledges that Professor Craig Flournoy was an important part of her choice of journalism as a career. “I was lucky to have learned from one of the best,” she says. “His zest for powerful narrative, and his insistence that data-driven reporting is the wave of the future, has shaped my reporting style. His computer-assisted reporting class and a Light of Day project about campus crime left the largest impression on me while at SMU.”

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