“Land of Plenty,” a depth report produced primarily by Honors College journalism students, has been named best student magazine in the nation by the Society of Professional Journalists. The magazine was honored in the annual Mark of Excellence Awards contest for college journalism. One national winner, and two national finalists, are selected in each category.
Students in the depth reporting class, taught by Overby fellow and Meek School instructor Bill Rose and veteran food writer Susan Puckett, spent the spring semester and spring break in the Delta, reporting stories for the magazine on the region’s distinctive food. Neil McMillin, Lauren McMillin, Bowen Thigpen, Sarah Bracey Penn, Camille Mullins, Rachael Walker, Erin Scott, John Bobo and Phillip Waller were the students in the depth reporting class.
“Land of Plenty” was designed by a class taught by assistant professor Darren Sanefski, and photos were shot by photography students taught by assistant professors Mikki Harris and Alysia Steele. Those students included Virginia England, Ben Hurston, Katie Williamson, Alex Edwards, Ignacio Murillo, Austin McAfee, Gerard Manogin, Elizabeth Beaver, Kristen Ellis, Caroline Callahan, Petre Thomas, LeAnna Young, Jared Burleson, Paris Crawford, DJ Jones, Lauren Loyless, Lauren McMillin, Alessandra Richards, Phillip Waller and Thomas Graning.
In addition to the win for “Land of Plenty,” Daily Mississippian photo editor Thomas Graning was named a national finalist in the SPJ Mark of Excellence breaking news photography/large university category. His photo, “Charges Dropped,” was published in The Daily Mississippian from his coverage of a trial.
First-place national winners will be recognized at the SPJ Excellence in Journalism 2014 conference in Nashville in September. Last year, Margaret Ann Morgan and Stephen Quinn won a first-place national SPJ Mark of Excellence Award for their multimedia coverage of Hurricane Isaac. Last year’s depth report, “The Flood of the Century,” was a finalist in the national SPJ student magazine category.