The 45th Annual National Hearst Journalism Awards Championship was the culmination of the 2004-2005 monthly competitions. 24 finalists with top scores in those competitions were brought to San Francisco to demonstrate their abilities in on-the-spot assignments and compete for additional scholarship awards. The writing, photojournalism, radio broadcast and television broadcast finalists, along with program judges, Journalism Deans, and special guests convened the last week in May for this unique event.
The writing finalists interviewed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and produced a news story and a personality/profile about their subject. In addition, they researched and wrote an on-the-spot article about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The photo finalists were given five assignments: three to five images of the San Francisco Giants' night game, three to five images of the F trolley line, one image interpreting life underground, one image of San Francisco before 8 a.m. (with the time showing), and a feature photo for the front page of a metro section. The radio finalists and television finalists were both assigned a story about the 1906 earthquake. In addition, the radio finalists prepared another story on The Presidio while the television finalists prepared a story on Treasure Island.
The judges received the completed articles, images, and tapes by the morning of May 28th for review. The winners were announced that evening at the awards ceremony.