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Nebraska-Lincoln students beat out top publications for journalism award

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Posted at 3:59 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 16:59:05-04

WASHINGTON (KMTV) - A group of University of Nebraska-Lincoln students won the grand prize at the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards Tuesday.  

The group of 11 UNL students won with their project, "The Wounds of Whiteclay: Nebraska's Shameful Legacy," which took an in-depth look at at the many issues surrounding the liquor stores in Whiteclay, Nebraska. The stores sell the equivalent of 3.5 million cans of beer a year.

"These students spent hundreds of hours over the last nine months exploring and exposing the multitude of issues surrounding Whiteclay," Joe Starita, a professor at UNL and editor of the project, said in a release. "This is an exceptional feat of journalism at any level, and the resulting package is one in which every Nebraska taxpayer got their money's worth."

In the award's 49-year history, the top prize has never gone to a college project. In 2016, MSNBC won the grand prize and and in 2015, it went to the Los Angeles Times.