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Five MOEy award finalists announced, representing the best in student journalism


Lou Harry, SPJ Manager of Publications and Awards, 317-920-4786, lharry@spj.org
Ashlynn Neumeyer, Communications Coordinator, 317-361-4133, aneumeyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – Five MOEy finalists have been selected from more than 3,100 entries in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards competition. The MOEy honors the best of the best in student journalism.

Student entries are first judged regionally across print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism categories. First-place regional winners advance to the national competition and then compete for the MOEy award.

This year’s MOEy finalists are:

• Special Report: Quarantine and Coronavirus in Montana's Indian Country – by Native News Honors Project staff, University of Montana School of Journalism (COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage)
• Coronavirus Pandemia Mundial (Coronavirus Global Pandemic) – Al Dia staff, California State University Fullerton (COVID-19: Video Coverage)
• Operation Agent Touch – Staff of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, Arizona State University (Online News Reporting)
• Dust-to-Dust – Parker Thune, Ben Possehl, University of Oklahoma (Television In-Depth Reporting)
• Meat for the Mind – Jiakai Lou, University of Montana (Online/Digital Feature Videography)

Native News Honors Project staff
The Native News Honors Project staff is the national winner for the COVID-19: Newspaper, Magazine and Online Coverage category. This project is about Montana's Indian reservations being affected deeply in the early months of the pandemic, which highlighted deficiencies in healthcare and telecommunication infrastructure. View the coverage: “Critical luxury,” “Borders against infection,” “Banking on a Band-aid” and “Lost

Al Dia staff
The Al Dia staff won in the category: COVID-19: Video Coverage. Latinos make up 40% of all COVID-19 cases nationwide. “Coronavirus: Pandemia Mundial,” a special edition of Al Dia, is aimed at helping Latinos in California grapple with the impact of the pandemic.

Staff of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism
“Operation Agent Touch” tells how agents from Homeland Security Investigations documented sex acts in government reports and how, when their behavior became known, investigations fell apart. The staff of the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism won in the Online News Reporting category.

Parker Thune, Ben Possehl
Thune and Possehl are the national winners in the Television In-Depth Reporting category. The first 10 minutes of the 45-minute documentary, “Dust-to-Dust,” tells the story of people forced out of the town of Picher, Oklahoma, due to toxic waste.

Jiakai Lou
Lou won in the Online/Digital Feature Videography category for the national awards. This project is about bison and the spiritual revitalization of the Sioux and Assiniboine tribes of Fort Peck. Read “Meat for the Mind” or watch the video online.

The winner of the MOEy will be announced during the Sigma Delta Chi Awards presentation at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday and will be officially recognized at the Student Summit during SPJ21.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.


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