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UM News
March 26, 2013


University of Montana School of Journalism Professor Ray Ekness recently won a bronze award in the 34th annual Telly Awards for his television program “Building Bridges: Back to Ireland.”

The show focuses on a group of young men and women from Ireland and Northern Ireland who came to Montana in 1997 to work on Habitat for Humanity projects while dealing with their cultural, political and religious differences.

In 2010, Ekness, who teaches in the UM journalism school’s Radio/Television Department, and MontanaPBS Producer John Twiggs traveled to Ireland to tell the stories of five of the original 12 workers and how their lives have changed since their adventure in Montana. The program aired on MontanaPBS last September.

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional and cable TV commercials and programs; the finest video and film productions; and online commercials, videos and films. This year there were nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.

For more information call Ekness at 406-243-4088 or email “Building Bridges: Back to Ireland” can be viewed online at





Contact: Ray Ekness, professor, UM School of Journalism Radio/Television Department, 406-243-4088,