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More to Think about

Student-produced Think magazine wins more awards

Think, a news magazine produced by Drake University journalism students, recently was awarded highest honors by the Association for Education of Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). The magazine earned first place in general excellence, first place in design and second place in editorial in the AEJMC Student Magazine Contest. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Think has received the top prize in general excellence.

Think was produced in a spring 2011 senior capstone class that combined magazine and news-Internet majors. It was taught by Lori Blachford, the Peggy Fisher and Larry Stelter chair of magazine journalism, and assistant professor Jill Van Wyke.

The contest was judged by professional magazine writers, editors and designers. They complimented Think’s “hard, investigative journalism” and “bold, energetic design.”

“This magazine does an incredible job of speaking to its progressive readership with hard-hitting articles, investigative journalism, news reporting and socially conscious service articles,” one judge wrote. “Articles, art, design and illustrations are all consistently wonderful. The articles are international in their scope, yet often speak to Midwestern readers… Excellent magazine that could compete on newsstands with the likes of Mother Jones and Utne Reader – no easy task.”

Editor-in-chief Riane Menardi said she is proud of what Think’s staff accomplished. “The whole staff worked hard to produce a magazine we love — we didn’t publish anything we personally didn’t want to read or look at,” she says. “The judges’ comments on the design are especially exciting. It’s so fulfilling to be recognized for our hard work.”

The students on the staff are responsible for every step in the production process: story ideas, assignments, deadlines, reporting, writing, editing, copy editing, web producing, photography, design, production, distribution, advertising, marketing and promotion.

Blachford praises the students’ collaboration.

“To win the general excellence category is especially rewarding because you can’t produce a quality magazine from cover to cover without a true team effort,” Blachford says. “The students set the bar very high from the beginning, with every article aimed at informing and inspiring their readers. It took a lot of hard work and late nights to fulfill on that promise, but they never wavered from their goals. It’s great to see that effort rewarded.”

Think is available at various locations around Des Moines. The companion website is located at www.thinkdsm.com.

Think is produced with support from the Meredith family and Meredith Corporation.

Visit the School of Journalism and Mass Communication website for more details on SJMC news and awards.