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Muleskinner Honored with Best in State Cup Award by Missouri College Media Association

By Jeff Murphy, April 25, 2024


UCM’s student news outlet, "The Muleskinner’s" Faculty Adviser Julie Lewis, Ph.D., and student journalists Promotions Manager Mingzhu Zhu, Multi-media Manager Ellie Whitesell, News Editor Linda Alviar, Sports Editor Aaron Bax and reporters Braeden Sholes, Megan Weaver, and Brad Hadank display the Best in State Cup award they received at the Missouri College Media Association and Missouri Broadcast Educators Convention on April 6.
(Submitted Photo)


The University of Central Missouri student news outlet, "The Muleskinner," dominated the state college media awards including the Best In State Cup award during the Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) and Missouri Broadcast Educators Association’s (MBEA) Convention on April 6 at Crown Center in Kansas City.

“Winning the MCMA Best In State Cup was great to see our hard work was recognized and we are hitting all the right marks when it comes to showcasing our abilities when compared with other schools in the state,” Muleskinner News Editor Linda Alviar said. “The MCMA Conference was unlike anything I have experienced before. It was very inspiring to be surrounded by student journalists who share my passion for storytelling. Getting to explore different areas of this craft with my fellow Muleskinner staff was invaluable. It was a great bonding experience for our team and a great opportunity to be around student journalists from other areas of the state.”

"The Muleskinner" is a student newspaper at UCM that publishes monthly with ongoing Monday through Friday online coverage during regular academic weeks. As journalism has changed, so has "The Muleskinner." Although its print edition is published monthly, "The Muleskinner" is a 24/7 operation. Its website is updated throughout the year with campus news, features, and sports stories, as well as photos and videos, all contributed by students under the
guidance of student editorial staff. The UCM Muleskinner is housed in the Communication Studies and Digital Media Production program, within the School of Communication, History, and Interdisciplinary Studies. Many alumni launched their journalism careers at "The Muleskinner."

On April 6, "The Muleskinner" led its division in the newspaper and website contests. MCMA recognizes four divisions by school enrollment, and UCM competes in the contest’s Division I. Competing against the largest institutions in the state, UCM’s student publication, "The Muleskinner," won the Best in State Award for all divisions and grabbed first place in Division I as Best Overall Newspaper. "The Muleskinner" was named the best newspaper
in its division. The best newspaper winners in each of the four divisions are then judged against each other for the best overall college newspaper in the state, which "The Muleskinner" also won.
“Competing allows us to keep pushing ourselves to find ways to better the paper,” Muleskinner Reporter Braeden Sholes said. “It was awesome but only means we must work harder to keep it. 'The Muleskinner' is the only place I have found that allows me to combine all my passions. I look forward to working with 'The Muleskinner' for the years to come.”

Muleskinner Managing Editor Cole Elling was part of the first-place team that captured the Best in State award. Joining him were "The Muleskinner" Promotions Manager Mingzhu Zhu, Multi-media Manager Ellie Whitesell, News Editor Linda Alviar, Sports Editor Aaron Bax and reporters Braeden Sholes, Megan Weaver, and Brad Hadank. Muleskinner Faculty Adviser Dr. Julie Lewis led the student journalists to compete at the convention. Lewis also served as the 2023-24 MCMA Faculty Adviser and MCMA Conference Director; thus "The Muleskinner" hosted the annual event at Kansas City’s Crown Center with approx.150 attendees while partnering with the attendees of the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association.

Lewis commented on the hard work and commitment of "The Muleskinner" staff, noting that this year "'The Muleskinner' staff continued to develop an inclusive atmosphere, and established healthy core journalism values."

“I am very proud of this staff and all our achievements and can’t wait to see what more our Muleskinner student newsroom can further accomplish,” Lewis said. “The awards presented remind our student newsroom that their efforts in journalism are not only noticed but esteemed and impressive throughout Missouri. The students' successes with the MCMA Best in State and individual awards reflect their gained skills, which are exactly the skills that 21st-century
newsrooms and employers are looking for. Essentially, our Muleskinner newsroom empowers our students to provide news for students by students.”



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