MSUM Students Earn National Journalism Awards

MSU Moorhead students had one national winner and five finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2008. This year, student journalists submitted more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories.

“These Mark of Excellence Awards winners are some of the best journalists coming out of colleges today.” said Neil Ralston, SPJ’s Vice President for Campus Chapter Affairs. “I believe they represent a lot of hope for the future of journalism in America, and SPJ is honored to recognize them for their excellent work.”

National winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of the SPJ’s 12 regional competitions. Each first place regional winner advanced to the national competition.

Only three other schools received more awards than MSUM, including Arizona State University, 10; University of Maryland, 7; University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 7; and MSUM with 6.

MSUM’s national winners are Kyle Johnson, Detroit Lakes, and Christopher Flynn, West Fargo, N.D., in the category Television News Photography for “Energy Drinks” for MSUM’s Campus News.

National finalists ranked in the top three in the country. MSUM’s national finalists are:

Nathan Matson, Twin Valley, was a national finalist in two categories: Radio Feature for “Bio-diesel bus” and Radio In-depth Reporting for “Ethanol Parts 1 and 2”, both for Prairie Public Radio.

Lee Morris, a 2008 English/mass communications graduate from Moorhead, in the category Magazine Non-Fiction Article for “Silent Scourge” for Minnesota Monthly.

Tyson Kuznia, in Feature Photography, for “Florian, MN” for He’s from Argyle.

Tim Gerszewski, a 2008 MSUM graduate from Mayville, N.D., in Television Feature Photography for “Earth Day” for Campus News.

The student journalists will be recognized Friday, Aug. 28 at the Mark of Excellence Luncheon, which occurs during the 2009 SPJ Convention & National Journalism Conference at The Westin Indianapolis.

For additional information on the Mark of Excellence Awards or the Society, please contact Lauren Rochester, Awards Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 210 or
The Society of Professional Journalists works to improve and protect journalism. The organization is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

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