Four Nebraska News Service alums win national Edward R. Murrow Award

Monday, August 21, 2023 - 11:00am

The Nebraska News Service and four recent graduates from UNL's College of Journalism and Mass Communications won the 2023 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting from the Radio Television Digital News Association. 

Josie Dostal, Will Sleddens, Jenna Thompson and Luke Weidner were honored for their story "Farm to School Institute grows students' interest in local agriculture," published in the Nebraska News Service on May 12, 2022 

Dostal is from Shenandoah, Iowa and she graduated in May 2022. While at UNL, she double majored in journalism, and advertising and public relations. She was involved in Dance Marathon, Public Relations Student Society of America club, Kappa Delta Pi sorority, and the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. Now Dostal is entering her second year of law school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

Sleddens, a May 2022 graduate from Lincoln, studied journalism and was on the pre-law track. At UNL, he wrote for the Nebraska News Service and broadcast for 90.3 KRNU. Today Sleddens is pursuing a law degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he's the membership chair of the Queer Law Students Association and a 1L Peer Mentor. Entering his second year of law school, Sleddens represents clients as a clinical law student at Wisconsin's Neighborhood Law & Eviction Defense Clinic. 

Thompson double majored in journalism and English at UNL and graduated in May 2022. After finishing her reporting internship at the Lincoln Journal Star, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri in Oct. 2022 to work as a breaking news reporter for The Kansas City Star. In July, Thompson started a new role as the Star's restaurant and retail reporter. 

After graduating in May 2022, Weidner moved to Fargo, North Dakota, to become the lead graphic designer at North Dakota State University Athletics. Weidner was recently named director of creative services in graphic design for Kansas State Athletics and started his new role in July. 

"I am proud of this group of alumni and the Nebraska News Service for their commitment to good journalism and great storytelling," Assistant professor of practice and Nebraska News Service director Jill Martin said. "This was a fun, informational story that highlights the importance of Nebraska's agriculture and I am excited that their work is getting national recognition."  

The Edward R. Murrow Awards recognize local and national news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community. Murrow Award-winning work demonstrates the excellence that Edward R. Murrow made a standard of the broadcast news profession. Learn more about the Murrow Awards at: 

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