Rocky Mountain Student Media Wins 10 Society of Professional Journalists Awards

Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation received 10 regional awards of excellence from the Society of Professional Journalists this year, including recognition as a finalist for best general-purpose student newspaper.

“It’s great to be recognized nationally for what we do, our dedication and hard work, but what I’m most proud of is seeing how much our team has learned and grown. throughout the year,” said Krista McCallister, executive producer of CTV, the student-run television station at Colorado State University.

This is the first year since the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 that student media has been able to operate on campus and in person at full capacity, with no social distancing measures in place. This collaboration has resulted in award-winning coverage of the ongoing impact of the pandemic at CSU and in the surrounding community.

Similarly, students were given the opportunity to diversify their reporting outside of pandemic coverage. Katrina Leibee, editor of the student newspaper The Rockies Collegiatewas tasked with turning the 131-year-old publication into an alternative weekly and ran special editions covering everything from free speech on campus to craft beer in Fort Collins.

“I had to quickly come up with a vision of what an alternative weekly would look like,” Leibee said. “I took the idea of ​​adding a cannabis section from Westwordand many of our design ideas and photos were inspired by other alternative weeklies, but we always put our own spin on what this format might look like for a student newspaper.

The format gave student staff photographers an opportunity to shine. Third-year journalism student Milo Gladstein received an SPJ award for a photo he took of the CSU logging crew in action.

“One of the things that appeals to me about journalism is that I always like to go for the deepest story,” he said. “And it doesn’t have to be a big picture: small assignments can be even more rewarding because we can showcase people who have dedicated their lives to something and are truly passionate about it.”

Design Editor Devin Cornelius was also recognized by SPJ for his photography covering the Greater Colorado Air Show. An aviation enthusiast himself, Cornelius said he was “so happy to be here doing something that I love”.

“I felt like I really did my best, and I’m so happy that it was recognized because I put my heart and soul into every photo I took for the duration of event,” he added.

The Rocky Mountain Student Media team puts their heart and soul into the work they do every day.

“Every member of our team really cares about us,” Leibee said. “We sweat the little things, and we’re really invested in serving our community.”

See the full list of RMSMC awards below. To learn more about student media membership at CSU, go to

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