UM Journalism Student Documentary Takes National In-Depth Reporting Award

June 01, 2017

MISSOULA – The University of Montana School of Journalism student-produced documentary on autism in Montana recently won the top award in the Television In-Depth Reporting category of the national Society of Professional Journalists’ 2016 Mark of Excellence Awards.

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

The documentary is online at http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/2365761459/.

"Our students choose their own documentary topic, and I’m so proud of them for tackling such an underreported issue in Montana," said John Twiggs, UM adjunct journalism professor. "These awards represent the best in collegiate journalism, and this recognition represents the quality of production our students accomplished to tell this important story."

After winning first place in the region that comprises Montana, Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, "Aging Out: Autism in Montana" went on to compete against the top in-depth reporting winners from 11 other regions in the country. SPJ announced the documentary as the overall national winner in May. The results are online at https://www.spj.org/moe16.asp.

The national winners will be recognized at the Excellence in Journalism conference Sept. 7-9 in Anaheim, California.

Established in 1914, the UM School of Journalism has trained generations of journalists in print, broadcast, photography and digital media. The school regularly ranks among the top 10 journalism schools in the United States. Learn more at http://www.jour.umt.edu

Contact: John Twiggs, UM School of Journalism, 406-243-4565, john.twiggs@mso.umt.edu.