The University of Montana School of Journalism continues its yearlong centennial celebration in Helena with an exhibit and ceremony in the Capitol rotunda on Friday, Jan. 9. The event is free and open to the public.

Founded in 1914 by Dean Arthur Stone, the UM School of Journalism has produced well-rounded and successful journalists for 100 years. This year, students in associate professor Jeremy Lurgio’s Advanced Photojournalism and Multimedia Storytelling class tracked down some of Montana’s centenarians to create the project “A Century of Stories.” Together, the students created a photographic display of these Montanans’ portraits, which will be on display at the Capitol event.

“The project was an excellent experience that challenged our journalistic skills,” UM student Kristen Kirkland said. “We had to adjust our techniques to work with the elderly, and this provided us with an amazing learning experience.”

At 11 a.m. Gov. Steve Bullock will pay tribute to School of Journalism alumni who have covered the Legislature and state government to benefit the citizens of Montana. Alumni Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison of Lee Newspapers and former Montana Public Radio News Director Sally Mauk will be honored for their commitment, as will students who have participated in UM’s Legislative News Service over the past two decades.

Students selected for this year’s legislative coverage will be introduced. They will provide newspapers, radio stations and online news sites with written accounts, audio and visuals form the legislative session.

“We’ve been providing this service since the mid-1990s,” journalism department chair professor Dennis Swibold said. “The work – free to news organizations – is supported by the Montana Broadcasters Association, the Montana Newspaper Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.”

News organizations across Montana and North Dakota depend on the coverage as many of them cannot afford to send a full-time reporter to Helena for four months.

Former and current legislators, elected officials, School of Journalism alumni and the centenarians profiled for the exhibit will be among those attending the ceremony.

Missoulian Staff