UM Students Showcase Politics on Reservations, Autism in Upcoming Project Debuts

May 23, 2016

MISSOULA – Two student-produced projects from the University of Montana School of Journalism will go public this week.

Students in the journalism school’s Documentary Film Unit class researched, directed and produced “Aging Out: Autism in Montana.” The students documented the struggles of four Montana families with children on the autism spectrum. The program focuses on the lack of services and care for young adults with autism and how parents are searching for options.

“I want to do something that’s worthwhile, and I feel we have a good group to do it,” said senior Peter Riley, the director of the show. “Everybody knows we have each other’s back as a team, and everyone’s really stepped up and come to the table with some fresh ideas and some talents.”

“Aging Out: Autism in Montana” premiered May 13 to an audience of friends, family and the subjects of the documentary. The rest of Montana can see the show at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 24, on MontanaPBS.

In the Native News Honors Project, journalism students covered politics on Montana’s American Indian reservations and created print and multimedia pieces to tell different stories across the state. They paired up into teams with one reporter and one photographer and dispersed across Montana to cover the stories.

Their project, “Across the Divide,” will be available in print through the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette. The stories, along with their multimedia components, are online at

Founded in 1914, the School of Journalism is now in its second century of preparing students to think critically, to act ethically and to communicate effectively. The school recently was ranked among the top 10 journalism programs in the country by the Radio Television Digital News Association.

To learn more about the School of Journalism, visit


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