J-School Senior Wins Prestigious Sports Reporting Award

This month, University of Montana journalism student Henry Chisholm will accept the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation scholarship for excellence in college sports writing.

This national journalism award includes a $3,000 scholarship and a trip to Los Angeles, California on September 22 where Chisholm and the four other award recipients will be honored at Dodger Stadium.

“We get to watch a taping of SportsCenter, sit in a box for a preseason NHL game and a bunch of other cool stuff,” Chisholm said.

The scholarship is in memory of James Patrick Murray. Murray was a sportswriter at the Los Angeles Times from 1960 to 1998 and was inducted in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1978. Murray is also one of only four sportswriters to receive the Pulitzer Prize.

“Just being associated with Jim Murray’s name is huge,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm, now a senior at the J-School, spent last summer entrenched in sports journalism interning for BSN Denver in Colorado.

Henry Chisholm, who this month will accept the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation scholarship for excellence in college sports writing. Here, Henry is reporting for the Montana Kaimin at Grizzly football practice. Photo by Suzanne Downing.

Chisholm mostly covered Broncos football but also wrote an article on the Rockies-Padres brawl at Coors Field. Chisholm’s BSN Denver internship officially ended this fall, but Chisholm still contributes several sports stories to the outlet each week.

For Chisholm, working as a sports writer for the University of Montana’s student newspaper, the Montana Kaimin, gives him direct inside access to all things Grizzly football and a wealth of hands-on experience actually doing sports journalism.

Research is key for Chisholm when it comes to sports reporting. He spends hours watching game tape and reading up on players to stay up on what’s happening on and off the field. Most of his reporting is asking coaches and players about game plans and strategies.

“It’s real football talk with people who know so much about football,” Chisholm said.

“Off-the-record reporting is fun too, even if I know I might never be able to share the information. I’ve learned a ton of secrets,” he said.

For Chisholm, the most important part of journalism is having contacts and building relationships with people behind the scenes with people who trust you and will tell you when something big is going down.

“Especially in sports, where everything you cover is almost comically secretive and leads are tough to dig up on your own,” Chisholm said.

After college, Chisholm hopes to break into magazine writing for a publication like Sports Illustrated or ESPN Magazine.

Henry joins six other UM Journalism students who have been named as Murray Scholars in years past:

  •  Peter Bulger        2005
  •  Bill Oram             2008
  • Tyson Alger         2010
  • Daniel Mediate    2011
  • Dustin Askim       2013
  • Jesse Flickinger  2014

Montana Journalism Students Nominated for Awards of Excellence from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences

The names of University of Montana journalism students are all over this year’s list of nominations for the Awards of Excellence from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Northwest Chapter. The awards will be announced at the Emmy ceremony in June.

In the overall newscast category, the UM News team was nominated for their work this fall.  UM News is a weekly television and online news show produced by senior broadcast students and aired on the Montana Television Network (KPAX) and ABC/Fox Montana.

The 2017 student documentary unit was nominated in the long-form non-fiction category for it’s documentary “Montana Rx: Unintended Consequences” which aired on Montana PBS last spring. You can watch the full film here.

In general assignment serious news, Aunica Koch was nominated for her piece on a dual language program at Paxon Elementary School in Missoula.

Tiffany Folkes was nominated as photographer and editor and Maria Anderson as reporter/writer for their piece on how local farmers work with the farm-to-college efforts at the University of Montana.

In general assignment news-light, Mederios Whitworth-Babb won a nomination for her project on the Read with the Griz program.

And, Meri DeMarois was nominated for her piece Ballet Beyond Borders.

In the public affairs/community service category, Sophie Trouw, Maria Anderson and Rene Sanchez were nominated for their work on “Vietnam to Montana: Memories of War,” which aired on Montana PBS and is available to watch here.


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.