MSUM is national finalist

Earns 3rd EPPY among 65 national, regional awards

Minnesota State University Moorhead’s was named a national finalist in the 2012 EPPYTM Awards presented by “Editor & Publisher” magazine. In its 17th year, this international contest honors the best media-affiliated websites across 30 diverse categories, including recognizing excellence in college and university journalism in three categories.

The 2011 edition of, titled “To Be Different,” was a finalist in the category Best College/University Journalistic or Documentary Report for the second year in a row. It’s the third EPPYTM Award for the magazine.  A panel of 68 judges voted and selected the finalists, which must receive a score in the top one-third of the average score across all categories within their division.

Reggie Radniecki, associate professor of mass communications, is the creator and instructor for the online journalism workshop that produces the online magazine.

“Students come up with wonderful story ideas,” Radniecki said. “It’s the capstone class for students with a multimedia emphasis and they are very dedicated to it. We’ve won so many awards and students want to be a part of it.”

Since its inaugural issue in 2002, the magazine has won 65 national and regional awards, including a regional Emmy. The winner of this year’s contest was the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. Other university finalists were Berry College, DePaul University, The City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and Temple University.

Multimedia team collaboration

Charly Haley, a senior mass communications major from Sartell, Minn., was editor of “To Be Different,” managing the writers, photo editors and multimedia designers. The magazine featured families, couples and individuals with unique and different stories, such as a Vietnam War veteran, a lesbian couple raising a child, a transgender man, a young deaf drummer, a Special Olympics competitor and many others.

“It’s unbelievable that we were a finalist in a national competition among graduate schools like Arizona State,” Haley said. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity and experience. Everyone’s work was noticed by professionals nationally.”

The consistently high showing of MSUM students in this national competition is a reflection on MSUM’s mass communications program, hard-working students, and the caliber of collaboration that brings this project to fruition.

“This issue has strong writing, photography and web design and is a culmination of all the different skills learned not only in the mass communications department but also in graphic communications,” Haley said.

Innovations to this year’s magazine were a website redesign and a photo slide show accompanying all 18 stories.

“Our students put out a publication that stands up next to graduate schools or seemingly more prestigious programs,” Haley said.

About is a general-interest online magazine produced by students in the capstone course for the multimedia journalism emphasis at MSUM.

Students choose a primary role—writing, editing, photography, video or web design. However, students crossover to multiple production aspects in order to meet the May deadline.

This international online magazine receives hits from around the United States, as well as from Norway, Japan, Germany and England.

The theme of the next issue will be “Difficult and Dangerous Jobs.” Haley will serve as editor again and students are already coming up with story ideas.

“Most of the students are seniors and they’ve been doing this kind of journalism for many semesters,” Radniecki said. “This class generates a lot of excitement and students take this project and run with it.”

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