Michigan Press Association honors Echo reporters


By: Shealyn Paulis

Ten Great Lakes Echo reporters recently scored honors in the 2023 Michigan Press Association’s College Better Newspaper Contest.

They were recognized in nine categories. The environmental publication swept two categories – feature story and column-review – and won the open categories for best writer and best multi-media story.

The contest recognizes exceptional Michigan collegiate journalism in writing, photography and digital design.

“We are pleased to see the variety of categories in which the judges recognized excellence by Great Lakes Echo,” said David Poulson, Echo’s editor. “The best part is the number of different reporters whose work was honored.

“Our bench is deep, but it has to be to cover the world’s most important beat.”

Great Lakes Echo is based out of Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. The publication fell into Division 1, meaning it publishes more than weekly.

Included on the publication’s bench is recent Michigan State University graduate Cassidy Hough. She shared first place in multimedia reporting with former Echo reporter Jake Christie. Hough hosted the publication’s podcast, The Food Fix, and was recognized for her reporting on sustainability in agriculture through perennial grains.

Hough said she is extremely proud to be an Echo alumna and was not surprised to see the publication’s success.

“We’re very talented writers and I’m super proud to have been a part of that program,” Hough said. “And it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Echo has done so much for me and my career.”

She recommends anyone who has the courage to venture into the podcast sphere.

“It’s worth it, It’s worth learning the software. It’s a much more fun medium… and has the opportunity to be so much more engaging than print.” Hough said.

Current Echo reporter Jack Armstrong was recognized with a third place in the news story category. His work covered how a NASA satellite could collect data to help scientists understand the Great Lakes.

Armstrong said he is passionate about his work, and he believes this is why the story found success. As his graduation from Michigan State University’s School of Journalism approaches, he said getting the position with Echo was one of his favorite memories from school.

“I remember getting the job,” he said. “I was thrilled to be paid for environmental writing. That was my dream job and I got to do it in college.”

The upcoming alumnus said he is proud to have worked at Echo while attending school and is especially grateful to report on environmental topics in such an esteemed publication.

“I want to thank the program and professors Poulson and Freedman for their guidance. They’ve advanced my skills as a journalist, and a person, a lot since joining.” Armstrong said.

Echo  journalists were granted these awards in the 2023 Michigan Press Association’s College Better Newspaper Contest:

Best Writer

First Place: Cameryn Cass – For a body of work. Examples of her work here.

Column- Review or Blog-News

First Place: Sierra Moore – Walking through change

Second Place: Abigail Comar – The Great Lakes live in my soul

Third Place: Elaine Mallon – A Missouri girl’s take on Michigan summers

Feature Story

First Place: Vladislava Sukhanovskaya – Michigan’s Magnet Man attracts river trash

Second Place: Daniel Schoenherr – Exploring Lake Huron sinkholes may help find life on other planets

Third Place: Genevieve Fox – Woof, there it is: A spotted lanternfly

News Story

Third Place: Jack Armstrong – New NASA satellite helps scientists understand Great Lakes

Multimedia Reporting

First Place: Cassidy Hough and Jake Christie – Podcast: Perennial Grains Taste Test; text: Perennial grains: great for beer, bread and the fight against climate change; Tiktok about a grain called kernza

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