Journalism student at College of the Ozarks receives prestigious Walter Cronkite award

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – A College of the Ozarks senior has received the 2022 Walter Cronkite Scholarship from the Mid-America National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. 

Anna Ginnings, originally from Hermitage, Missouri, was the sole recipient of the 2022 award and plans to graduate in December. The scholarship is awarded once a year to a commendable student who is studying broadcast television, television production, journalism and communications. 

“I’m pretty blessed,” Ginnings told The Heartlander. “It means a lot to me, but mostly because I feel like I probably wouldn’t have gotten this award if I didn’t have an amazing team at College of the Ozarks at ‘The Point’ news station.”

Coming into college, Ginnings was not a stranger to the journalism business as her third great-grandfather started the Hickory County newspaper, The Index, in 1885. Eventually, her grandparents bought the newspaper, but had to let it go when Ginnings was young after nobody in the family expressed interest in taking on the legacy. 

As she got older, Ginnings began to realize how much she had loved being around journalism as a kid. When she was in high school, she asked The Index’s current owner Trevor Vernon for a job and soon after began working at the business her family started more than 125 years prior. She says pictures of her grandparents still hang on the wall at the newspaper’s office today. 

“I’ve been keeping the legacy going while not owning the newspaper like my grandparents did. Just in a different way,” she said.

Ginnings is the executive producer of College of the Ozarks’ Emmy-winning newscast “The Point,” and has worked with her team for the last five semesters. The news program is a student-led team of 10 journalists, headed by former ABC national correspondent and Associate Professor of Communication Arts Erin Hayes-Dennis. 

Ginnings is finishing a Communication Arts degree with an emphasis in journalism, along with a business minor, at College of the Ozarks. She plans to go into education and become a full-time public school teacher.

The college, nicknamed Hard Work U., is a private Christian college in Point Lookout, Missouri. The institution allows students to work for the college in various capacities while attending classes to pay off their student debt, giving them the chance to graduate college debt free. 

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