Montana Journalism Students Win Society of Professional Journalists Awards

University of Montana student journalists at the School of Journalism are winners and finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards for large universities (10,000 or more students) in Region 10.

Student reporting and production was honored in three group projects led by University of Montana School of Journalism faculty.

  • The Meth Effect won for online in-depth reporting. The project examined the Montana people and programs affected by an influx of cases caused by methamphetamine use in Montana. It was led by School of Journalism faculty Jule Banville and Lee Banville.
  • UM to Fukushima: Finding Home After Fallout won for Online News Reporting. This project examined the challenges the people of northeastern Japan faced as government support ended for people evacuated after the Great Northeast Earthquake and related nuclear plant meltdown. It was a part of the annual Montana Journalism Abroad undertaking and was led by faculty members Nadia White and Denise Dowling, with staff support from Cameron Bucheit and in-country support from photojournalist and UM J-School alum Keiji Fujimoto (UM SOJ ‘08.)
  • UM News was a finalist for the Best All-Around Newscast. UM News is a weekly television and online news production created by reporting and production teams of students. It is overseen by faculty Kevin Tompkins and Ray Fanning.

Seven graduate students won individual awards or participated on winning teams. These include:

Nora Saks in radio news, features and with The Meth Effect team.

Olga Kreimer in non-fiction magazine article for a story on a proposed bottled water plant in the Flathead Valley. Her reporting was funded by the University of Montana School of Journalism’s Crown Reporting Project.

Zachariah Bryan, Katy Spence and Jana Wiegand as part of UM to Fukushima: Finding Home After Fallout.

Matt Blois, Beau Baker and Nora Saks as part of The Meth Effect.

Undergraduate winners include:

Lucy Tompkins in feature writing

Jackson Wagner in sports writing.

Liam Keshishian sports photography

Meri DeMarois TV feature reporting

DJ Stewart TV sports reporting

Undergraduate finalists include:

Rick Rowan in radio news.

Cal Reynolds in general column writing.

Tailyr Irvine in Breaking News Photography

Hope Freier in Breaking News Photography

Kate Cier in radio feature

Rosie Costain in radio feature

Mederios Whitworth-Babb in TV feature reporting

The Mark of Excellence Awards honors the best in collegiate journalism. First-place regional winners advance to the national competition. With nearly 7,500 members, The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Region 10 comprises Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Montana High School Journalists Nab Awards, Get a Feel for the UM J-School

Nearly 200 high school students from across Montana filled the halls of the University of Montana School of Journalism on Thursday, March 22 for the annual Montana Journalism Education Association awards and High School Journalism Day at UM.

Students took home awards at the awards banquet and then skills and knowledge from eleven different workshops, ranging from TV production to telling stories with Instagram, offered by School of Journalism professors.

To download and see the full list of High School Journalism Day awards, click here.

Below, you’ll find a gallery of some of the moments we captured at High School J-Day. Click on any image to view the gallery.

Broadcast Education Association Recognizes UM J-School Students, Professor Jule Banville Wins “Best of Competition”

Associate Professor Jule Banville won the “Best of Competition” in the Broadcast Education Association’s annual awards with an audio story about a woman who owns the town of Pray in Montana’s Paradise Valley and can’t find someone to buy it. Contributed photo: Barbara Walker.

The Broadcast Education Association has recognized the excellent work of University of Montana School of Journalism students in its annual awards competition and given Associate Professor Jule Banville the “Best of Competition” award for an audio documentary that aired on her podcast, Last Best Stories.

Banville’s award comes from the faculty division of the competition, which also recognizes student work. More than 1,530 entries were considered. Banville’s work will be featured at the annual BEA Festival of Media Arts in April in Las Vegas.

UM Journalism School students and projects placing in the student division include: 

The Meth Effect, a multimedia reporting project that came out of a class co-taught by JuleBanville and Associate Professor of Journalism Lee Banville, won 2nd place in the Interactive Media and Emerging Technologies Competition, large team division.

Journalism Senior Rosie Costain won 2nd Place with “Accordion Man” in the Student News/Radio Feature competition.

Nora Saks, a student in the Environmental Science and Natural Resource Journalism graduate program, won the “award of excellence” in radio hard news reporting for her story on two sisters tackling drug use on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. The story aired on Montana Public Radio and NPR’s Weekend Edition last spring.  

UM News, the weekly news segment produced by senior broadcast journalism students, was awarded 2nd place in the Television Newscast category.

Banville’s winning entry is an audio story about a woman who owns the town of Pray in Montana’s Paradise Valley and can’t find someone to buy it. It can be heard as Episode 11 of Last Best Stories, “Owning Pray.” 

 

Banville’s podcast, which launched in 2015, has been featured in the Missoula Independent, the Missoulian, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Distinctly Montana magazine, and newsletters that include the Flyover Podcast and the Audit. Via the podcast, she was also a guest on NPR’s “It’s Been a Minute With Sam Sanders.”