Columbia, Mo. (Oct. 16, 2006) — Matthew Haag, a senior newspaper journalism major and business minor from Dallas, Texas, has been honored as the runner-up for the 2006 H.M. Fentress Memorial Award for Editorial Excellence. The annual award is presented by Cox Newspapers to the top two reporting or feature writing interns in the Texas Daily Newspaper Association Intern Program.
Haag spent the summer as an online intern at The Dallas Morning News, writing stories on tight deadlines for DallasNews.com. His many assignments included covering the Dallas Mavericks playoff games, reporting on a fire investigation and providing spot news coverage of a shooting at a recreational center.
Haag showed a keen sense for spot news, according to DallasNews.com Senior Editor-News Linda Leavell.
“Tenacity was a hallmark of Matthew’s work,” she wrote in her nominating letter. “If he didn’t find enough sources, he’d go back on the street. In covering a suspicious death, he peeked into a car parked in front of the deceased’s home for clues and drove to several locations in search of his roommate. He tracked down a woman who was present when her husband was shot during a carjacking. He located the aunt of a young man who had been killed and learned that he had just been hired that day for his first job.”
Haag has worked for two semesters for the Columbia Missourian, the daily city newspaper that serves as a lab for Missouri School of Journalism students. He is currently writing for the public life beat. The Dallas Morning News internship is the second for Haag, who has also interned at the Denton Record-Chronicle in Denton, Texas. He said his time writing and taking photos for DallasNews.com was a rewarding experience.
“I’ve known for several years that I’ve wanted to be a newspaper reporter, and the internship has solidified that desire,” Haag said. “Not only did this internship make me a better reporter, but also the experience put me a step above my peers.”
The H.M. Fentress Award was named for Texas newspaperman Harlon M. Fentress, who owned newspapers in Waco, Austin, Lufkin and Port Arthur. The Fentress papers were purchased in 1976 by Cox Enterprises based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Texas Daily Newspaper Association was founded in 1921 and is a statewide trade association of daily newspapers in Texas.
Updated: April 13, 2020