During the Montana Newspaper Association’s June 13 convention and awards ceremony, the organization announced that it is more than doubling the amount of annual scholarship funding it provides to University of Montana School of Journalism students.“This is just our way of nurturing the future journalists of Montana,” says MNA Executive Director Jim Rickman.

Providing scholarships to aspiring journalists falls squarely in line with MNA’s mission, which is to advance and sustain Montana’s news publishing industry. In recent years, the organization has provided $2,500 annually for promising J-School students through the Pat Burke Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the wife of the late Frank Burke, a longtime publisher of the Glendive Ranger-Review, and the Dean Stone Award, named after J-School founder Dean Arthur L. Stone. Beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year, MNA will increase its scholarship funding to $6,000.“The J-School is very grateful for this additional support from our old friends at MNA,” says University of Montana School of Journalism Dean Larry Abramson. “These scholarships are critical as we try to attract and nurture the best journalism students, and send them off to MNA papers.”


The most recent MNA award winners are Charli White, a photojournalist from Silesia who is entering her senior year. White, who garnered the Pat Burke Memorial Scholarship, says the MNA’s generosity will help her fulfill a dream to study abroad. The Dean Stone Award, meanwhile, went to Micah Drew, a UM track and cross-country standout and an aspiring sportswriter from Boise. After graduating, Drew, also a senior, aims to write for sports and adventure magazines.