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UM journalism students win big, outdo all others

They’re the best – we knew it and the contest judges provided the validation.

University of Montana journalism students were big winners in the Society of Professional Journalists competition for college journalists. Here’s the news, as released this afternoon by UM.

University of Montana School of Journalism students won 25 awards in the regional Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence competition – more than twice the awards of any school in a region that includes Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Fourteen UM students won first place awards. Their entries will be judged in the national SPJ competition in May.

In the four-year college category, there were 31 competition areas, including photography, print reporting, online news, radio news, and television reporting and photography.

UM winners are:
Breaking News Photography:
First Place: “A Missoula Firefighter” by Greg Lindstrom.

Feature Photography:
Third Place: “Lace Lake Fisherman” by Greg Lindstrom.

General News Photography:
Second Place: “Ranger Challenge” by Sally Finneran.

Sports Photography:
Third Place: “Three-way Squeeze” by Greg Lindstrom.

Feature Writing:
First Place: “The War Within” by Justin Franz.
Second Place: “Not a Drop to Drink” by Kimball Bennion.

General News Reporting:
First Place: “Missoula Shaken Baby Conviction Relied on Science, Expert” by Jayme Fraser.

Best Independent Online Student Publication:
First Place: “Living Sicker, Dying Younger” by the Native News team.

Online News Reporting:
First Place: “Young Lives Lost” by Carmen Irish and Tetona Dunlap.

Radio News Reporting:
First Place: “Recycling in Missoula” by Annemiek Wilson.

Radio Sports Reporting:
First Place: “Hellgate Rollergirls” by Emily Creasia.

Television Feature Reporting:
First Place: “Soldier Care Packages” by Gillette Vaira and Alison Kilts.

Television General News Reporting:
First Place: “Recycling Overload” by Gillette Vaira.
Second Place: “Methamphetamine Research” by Brittany Wooley.

Television In-Depth Reporting:
First Place: “Cannabusiness” by the Student Documentary Unit.
Second Place: “Patrolling the Big Sky” by the Montana Journal staff.

Television Sports Reporting:
First Place: “Frontier States Wrestling” by Cody Johnson and Kaelyn
Kelly.
Second Place: “The Crossfit Culture” by Tyler Velin and Dan LaDue.
Third Place: “When Griz Fly” by Dan LaDue and Jake Stevenson.

Television Feature Photography:
First Place: “Mountain Biking in Missoula” by Vince Bagby.
Second Place: “Filmmakers” by Gillette Vaira.
Third Place: “Hellgate Rollergirls” by Keith Hensley and Kristina
Matsalak.

Television News Photography:
First Place: “Hair Fever” by Drew Stanley and Vince Bagby.
Second Place: “Pine Beetle Mania” by Dan LaDue and Brittany Wooley.

Television Sports Photography:
First Place: “Frontier States Wrestling” by Cody Johnson and Kaelyn
Kelly.

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High school artists needed for Missoulian grad section

Attention, high school seniors. The Missoulian is looking for eye-catching artwork to feature on the cover and inside of its June 4 graduation special section. All entries meeting the following requirements will be considered, and the artist selected for the cover will receive $50.

* Artist must be a graduating senior at a western Montana high school or a home-schooler earning a GED.
* Artwork must be in color – the brighter the better – and approximately 8 1/2-by-11-inches in size.
* Artwork should reflect the joyous occasion. You can use flying hats, diplomas, robes or something more symbolic, such as a sunrise.
* Artwork must be original. No computer-generated images, or collages of images pulled from websites allowed.

The deadline for entries is May 13. Include your name, address, phone number and school and send to Mary Gerber, Missoulian, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807. Call 523-5310 or email mgerber@missoulian.com with questions.

Lee Enterprises proposes offerings of senior secured notes and Common Stock

There’s an update this morning on news I shared with you several weeks ago from the Missoulian’s parent corporation, Lee Enterprises.

In Montana, Lee owns the Missoulian, Ravalli Republic, Helena Independent Record, Billings Gazette and the Montana Standard in Butte.

Here’s the news release:

DAVENPORT, Iowa (April 25, 2011) — Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE) announced today that it has revised the proposed terms of its previously announced offerings and now plans to offer, subject to market and other conditions, $680 million of first lien senior secured notes due in 2017 and $375 million of second lien senior secured notes due in 2018. In a concurrent offering, Lee also plans to offer, subject to market and other conditions, approximately 8,928,175 shares of its common stock, $2.00 par value. The notes will be offered and sold to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and to non-U.S. persons outside the United States in reliance on Regulation S under the Securities Act. The notes will be guaranteed on a senior secured basis by property and assets of the company and subsidiaries. The common stock will be offered to institutional accredited investors within the meaning of Rule 501(a)(1), (2), (3) or (7) under the Securities Act that also will purchase the second lien senior secured notes due in 2018. The interest rates, offering prices and other terms will be determined at the time of pricing of the offerings.

Lee intends to use the net proceeds from the offerings to refinance substantially all of its existing debt, which is due in April 2012. As of March 27, 2011, remaining principal under Lee’s credit agreement totaled $878.8 million, and the remaining balance on its Pulitzer Notes totaled $147.0 million, which constitutes substantially all of its existing debt.

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy the notes, the common stock or any other securities. None of the notes or the common stock have been registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements. This notice is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 135c under the Securities Act.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS — The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a “safe harbor” for forward-looking statements. This news release contains information regarding Lee Enterprises, Incorporated’s proposed offerings of notes and common stock and the use of proceeds therefrom that may be deemed forward-looking and that is based largely on Lee Enterprises’ current expectations, and is subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including risks and uncertainties referenced from time to time in Lee Enterprises’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Lee Enterprises’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 26, 2010. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “considers” and similar expressions) generally should be considered forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this release. Lee Enterprises does not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements.

It rained like cats and dogs: MPR reaches goal

Congratulations to our colleagues at Montana Public Radio, who raised a record $591,000 during their spring fundraising drive – which ended Sunday with the ever-popular, ever-rambunctious “Pet Wars.” (My church always donates money in honor of our mostly legendary “church mouse.”)

Here’s the good news, as provided by Montana Public Radio and the University of Montana:

Riding the wave of pledges for cats, dogs, horses, sheep and other pets (including one sourdough starter) in the “Pet Wars” finale April 17, Montana Public Radio raised a record $591,000 during its spring on-air fund drive, exceeding the goal of $550,000.

“We know that there is a lot of support for our service, but the week exceeded all our expectations in a big way,” said Linda Talbott, MTPR development director. “We are very thankful, very humbled and very tired.”

Supporters made more than 5,700 pledges during the week, which featured on-air celebrations for every thousand dollars raised and unique thank-you gifts offered by listeners and businesses. The “premiums” included chocolate cakes, tofu pies and live goats.

“The program hosts got a big boost from the listener feedback that comes with all those pledges,” said program director Michael Marsolek, praising the on-air staff for keeping the message positive and upbeat. “We tried to keep the week listenable, conversational and fun. Listeners seemed to love it.”

The spring fund drive represents about 50 percent of the total amount the station must raise from listeners and business underwriters in the coming year. Station manager William Marcus says the pledges are a vote of confidence that is especially appreciated during a time when federal funding for public broadcasting is in doubt.

“People notice when you have such an outpouring of love and support for a community service like MTPR,” Marcus said. “We are proud to be the local source for NPR programming, and proud of the many local news and music programs that we produce, too.”

MTPR is a public service of The University of Montana and broadcasts from studios in Missoula and through transmitters in Missoula, Kalispell, Helena, Butte, Hamilton and Great Falls.

Sherry Devlin

We’re on the hunt for Easter egg hunts!



We want to hear about your Easter egg hunt.

But we’d also be happy to hear about your spring celebration, too, as long as it’s an event that happens over the Easter weekend.

So if you’re putting on some sort of event the public is invited to, please send your information to newsdesk@missoulian.com in the next couple of days.

We’ll then run a short story about the events in the Montana section of the paper late next week.

Sherry Devlin

Judy Woodruff is UM's 2011 Dean Stone lecturer

Judy Woodruff

The University of Montana School of Journalism has announced its Dean Stone lecturer for 2011: Judy Woodruff.

Here’s the details on her talk, courtesy of a news release from the U:

Award-winning television journalist Judy Woodruff has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS. She will bring that insight to The University of Montana this month as the speaker for the UM School of Journalism’s 2011 Dean Stone Lecture.

Woodruff, who now co-anchors the PBS “NewsHour,” will present “Surveying 2012: Politics, Media and the Millennials” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, in the University Center Theater. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Woodruff will examine the early stages of the 2012 presidential election, as well as the state of the nation’s politics. She also will share her insights on the political cultural climate in this country, with a special focus on how the young voters who helped drive the 2008 election of President Barack Obama are feeling as the re-election season nears.

For 12 years, Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, anchoring the weekday political program “Inside Politics.” She returned to PBS in 2007, bringing to television and the Web an extensive documentary project on the views of young Americans titled “Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard.”

Woodruff’s work has won numerous accolades throughout the years. She has received the CINE Lifetime Achievement Award, a Duke Distinguished Alumni Award and the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism/Television, among others.

Sherry Devlin

C-SPAN lovers! The bus stops here on Wednesday

Are you a C-SPAN watcher?

I’ll admit, I pause when “channel surfing” and find that C-SPAN is airing the ever-rowdy “Prime Minister’s Moments” from British Parliament.

Of course, most of the cable channel’s programming is from the U.S. Congress, which while rowdy can’t hold a candle to the Brits.

On Wednesday, Missoula will be paid a visit from the channel’s “digital bus.”

Here’s the announcement, which arrived at the Missoulian this afternoon:

The C-SPAN Digital Bus will visit Montana on its national tour with two stops in the Missoula area on Wednesday. During the stops, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Digital Bus and learn about C-SPAN’s public affairs programming.

Launched in June 2010, C-SPAN’s new customized coach is engaging visitors of all ages through interactive multimedia. Digital Bus visitors are experiencing C-SPAN’s unique public affairs content across high-tech platforms such as HD-TV, the Internet, and radio, encouraging customers to follow “Washington, your way.”

Hands on demonstrations feature the C-SPAN Video Library and the network’s social media offerings and there are special resources for civics teachers and their students.
The bus will be at the Mansfield Library at the University of Montana from 10 to 11:45 a.m. and at Hellgate High School from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

The Digital Bus is designed to provide interactive, self guided multimedia tours demonstrating C-SPAN’s programming via varied distribution platforms to all visitors, including TV monitors to demonstrate the C-SPAN Networks in both standard and high definition; computer kiosks to demonstrate C-SPAN’s many web offerings including the Video Library and laptops and mobile application devices to demonstrate C-SPAN’s social media presence and radio offerings.

Sherry Devlin

Missoulian’s parent company announces offering of $1B in notes

I thought Missoulian readers would like to know about the latest financing announcement from Lee Enterprises, parent company of not only the Missoulian but also the Montana Standard in Butte, the Ravalli Republic in Hamilton, the Helena Independent Record and the Billings Gazette.

Here’s the information that went nationwide via the Associated Press.

Associated Press
Lee Enterprises, the publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is taking advantage of investors’ growing appetite for high-yield corporate debt to refinance its debt.
The newspaper company will sell just over $1 billion worth of notes due in 2017 and 2018 to retire nearly all of its existing debt, which is due in April 2012, it said Monday.

Like other newspaper publishers, Lee Enterprises Inc., which is based in Davenport, Iowa, has been struggling with a decline in advertising. But the economic recovery has slowed the decline.

Lee said Monday that it expects to report a revenue decline of 3.5 percent to 4 percent for the quarter that ended March 27, compared with last year. That compares with a 6.6 percent decline last year.

The Missoulian continues to be a strong and thriving business in our community. We all look forward to continuing to provide our print edition and online readers with an energetic and aggressive local news report each day.

Sherry Devlin

2 UM journalism students win major writing awards

Congratulations are in order this afternoon for two University of Montana journalism students who placed in the top 10 in the nation’s most prestigious writing competition for college journalists.

Here’s the scoop, as it arrived by email from UM:

Two University of Montana seniors in the School of Journalism placed in the top 10 in the profile writing competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards. Their wins put the UM School of Journalism in eighth place nationally in the print division of the yearlong competition.

Justin Franz of Augusta, Maine, won fourth place and $1,000 for his article, “The War Within,” about a female veteran’s struggle to transition to civilian and university life after a tour in Iraq. The woman, a UM student, has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The story ran in the Montana Kaimin student newspaper on Nov. 10.

Steve Miller, who is from Missoula, won seventh place for his profile of a man who spent his family’s savings on a prototype for a go-cart fashioned after the Batmobile in the film “The Dark Knight.” He sells plans for the go-kart online. Miller’s story was published in the Montana Kaimin on Oct. 29.

The Hearst competition is open to students at all accredited journalism programs in the country. In profile writing, which is the fifth of six competitions, 111 students entered stories. Journalism programs can enter only two students’ work in each monthly competition.

Hurrah! And another round of applause for Steve and Justin. Your stories were great, and the recognition well deserved.

And congratulations to UM’s School of Journalism, whose students are frequent winners of Hearst awards. That’s not the case at most journalism schools around the nation, and is testimony to the truly excellent journalism profs who call UM their home.

Sherry Devlin

Class of 2011: Send us your artwork!

Attention, high school seniors. The Missoulian is looking for eye-catching artwork to feature on the cover and inside of its June 4 graduation special section.

All entries meeting the following requirements will be considered, and the artist selected for the cover will receive $50.

The artist must be a graduating senior at a western Montana high school or a home-schooler earning a GED.

Artwork must be in color – the brighter the better – and approximately 8 1/2-by-11-inches in size.

Artwork should reflect the joyous occasion. You can use flying hats, diplomas, robes or something more symbolic, such as a sunrise.

Artwork must be original. No computer-generated images, or collages of images pulled from websites allowed.

The deadline for entries is May 13. Include your name, address, phone number and school and send to Mary Gerber, Missoulian, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807. Call 523-5310 or email mgerber@missoulian.com with questions.

Then all you have to do is watch for our special section, which lists every high school graduate in western Montana, and their awards, scholarships and more.

Sherry Devlin