Mon, 04/24/2017

People have started saying that journalism is a dying art — or, in fact, already dead. UMass Amherst rising senior and journalism major Stephanie Murray proves that that is not the case.

As editor in chief of the Amherst Wire and current correspondent for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Stephanie has been a member of the Commonwealth Honors College since fall 2014 and a journalist for as long as she can remember. Even as a little girl, Stephanie knew this was the path she wanted to follow.

Recently, Stephanie won the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Award. Every year since 2006, award winners are chosen to go to Japan to “follow Howard’s footsteps in bringing a better understanding of other cultures and their journalistic practices to American students,” according to the award’s website. The trip includes visits to historical and cultural landmarks and media outlets located in Osaka, Kyoto, Tokyo, Kobe, and Hiroshima.

In order to earn this prestigious award, Stephanie had to submit several samples of reporting, an essay about her interest in international affairs, and a letter of recommendation. Her reporting samples included an October 2016 story for the Daily Hampshire Gazette about the first fatal shooting in Amherst for twelve years, and political reporting she did on this past election’s ballot questions on issues such as charter schools and the legalization of marijuana.

Stephanie credits UMass Amherst’s Journalism Department for who she is today. The Commonwealth Honors College has shaped her too, particularly in terms of meeting other students outside her journalism major and English minor. While honors students vary greatly in terms of their fields of study, they are all brought together by the passion they share for their work.

For more information on Stephanie’s accomplishments, please read the University’s profile of Stephanie here.

Image by Joshua Murray.