TommieMedia.com, the St. Thomas student-run online news organization, received multiple journalism awards at conferences held April 12 to 13 in Minneapolis.
TommieMedia won six awards for photography and reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists at its Mark of Excellence Regional Awards April 12, and first place in websites for Student Market TV from the Northwest Broadcast News Association at its Eric Sevareid Awards event April 13. TommieMedia also received three award nominations for its work from the Upper Midwest Student Production Association this spring.
A highlight among the multiple awards is the first place honor in websites from the NBNA, a first for the organization. Professor Greg Vandegrift, a TommieMedia adviser, described the magnitude of this accomplishment for the news organization.
“The TommieMedia staff should be especially proud of the NBNA’s website award. This is a multistate competition, and traditionally the judges are tough,” Vandegrift said.
The Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Awards awarded two TommieMedia student journalists with first place honors. TommieMedia columnist Carly Samuelson, senior, won first place for “Online and Opinion Commentary,” and photographer Rosie Murphy, senior, won first place in “General News Photography.” Both will move on to the national competition.
Murphy, who joined the TommieMedia staff last fall as a photographer and now holds the chief photo editor position, believes the recognition shows that “hard work pays off.”
“I came into TommieMedia with little to no experience behind the lens. … I practiced the things that worked, and ditched the things that didn’t. Eventually, all my practice turned to mastery, and in the eyes of all those experienced photographers, that’s pretty honorable,” Murphy said.
Although the organization did not bring home an award from the Upper Midwest Student Production Awards, TommieMedia was nominated in three categories: sports, talent and general light news assignment.
Hannah Anderson, the news director at TommieMedia, attended the awards ceremonies, accompanied by executive team members Hayley Schnell, Heidi Enninga and Briggs LeSavage. Anderson called the multiple wins an “honor” for the “family” the organization has become.
“Awards are just a cherry on the top of what we do every day at TommieMedia. … Getting recognized for what we do every day is a plus,” Anderson said.
Friday, April 12 – SPJ Mark of Excellence Regional Awards Luncheon
Saturday, April 13 – Northwest Broadcast News Association Eric Sevareid Awards
Sunday, April 14 – Upper Midwest Student Production Awards