UM Journalism Students Win Five Emmy Awards

June 10, 2014

MISSOULA – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences has awarded five University of Montana journalism projects student Emmy Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. The Northwest Chapter held its 51st annual Emmy ceremony at the Hilton Conference Center Saturday, June 7, in Seatac, Wash.

A weekly news program, “UM News,” earned an Emmy in the best newscast category. The program, produced by seniors in the UM School of Journalism Department of Radio-Television, airs on ABC/Fox and CBS stations during the fall semester. “UM News” is produced in the advanced video reporting, photography and directing courses taught by Professor Ray Ekness and Radio/TV Department Chair Ray Fanning.

“It’s really gratifying to see our student work honored at this prestigious ceremony,” Fanning said. “We’re very proud to know the UM School of Journalism is producing outstanding young journalists whose work ranks as the best in the region.”

In the general news category, Anna Cole of Carstairs, Alberta, and Conor Ballantyne of Plains got the nod for their story “Grizzly Personal Safety.” The story, which aired as part of “UM News,” looked at the steps being taken on campus to improve safety for students including a program that uses a golf cart to give students rides home at night.

The arts and entertainment Emmy also went to a story produced for “UM News.” Lauren Robinson of Billings and Nina Sveinson of West Yellowstone earned the award for a feature on a stage play involving puppets. The story told of the physical challenges faced by actors in the play “Avenue Q,” using the puppets as their primary means of expression. 

Sveinson won a second Emmy for best student writer. She submitted two news pieces for judging, including a story on how Grizzly football affects western Montana’s economy and a story about a “Trick or Eat” program that benefits the Missoula Food Bank.

A program produced for MontanaPBS won in the long-form, nonfiction category. “Climate Changing Business” profiled a number of Montana businesses adapting or benefiting due to Montana’s climate changes. Students in Adjunct Professor John Twiggs’ advanced video storytelling course reported, recorded, wrote and edited the program, which aired in October 2013.

The Emmy Awards honor excellence in television news, documentary, entertainment and individual achievement. The Northwest Chapter represents television professionals in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Alaska.


Contact: Denise Dowling, interim dean, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4143,