Three School of Journalism students at The University of Montana have been named national winners and one a national finalist in the annual Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards. The awards honor collegiate journalism published or broadcast in 2011.
In the Feature Writing category, junior Billie Loewen was a national winner for “The girl I killed,” a piece originally published in the Montana Kaimin. She wrote the first-person account about what happened on a night in 2009 when a 15-year-old girl was killed after running onto the freeway in Washington. Loewen will serve as the 2012-13 Kaimin editor. Read the story by clicking here.
Seniors Bernie Riggs and Emily Foster were named national winners in the Television Feature category for their coverage of a unique local competition: “Pumpkins Fly Through The Air At Punkin’ Chunkin’ Contest.” Their coverage depicted an event in which steel cannons shot frozen pumpkins almost a mile toward (and sometimes through) targets such as old minivans. See the story by clicking here.
In the Television Sports Photography category, senior Maegan Simmons was a national winner for “2nd Annual Treasure State Shred Fest,” which covered a freestyle snowboarding event held in downtown’s Caras Park. See the story by clicking here.
Senior Nick Gast was a national finalist in the Breaking News Photography category for his photo, “Gunshot.”
National Mark of Excellence Award judges chose one winner and two finalists in each competition category. At the regional level, UM School of Journalism students won 19 awards, including 10 first-place finishes.