The Award Recognizes Outstanding Magazine Writing
By Ashley Szatala
Columbia, Mo. (April 25, 2016) — Missouri School of Journalism graduate student Shawn Shinneman is the winner of the 2016 Don Romero Prize for outstanding magazine writing. He receives a $750 cash award.
Shinneman submitted three articles to be considered for the prize:
- “How Online Threats Set Off a Real-Life Panic on the Mizzou Campus,” published in the Riverfront Times. The story is a dispatch from the University of Missouri after online threats sent fear through campus following November’s protests.
- “Disappearing Act,” published in Missouri Life. This article is an exploration of fading small-town Missouri as told through the profiles of three struggling communities.
- “The House That Crane Built,” published in Vox Magazine. This story profiles a tiny town’s museum and the sharp and eccentric older couple who make it tick.
The judges were impressed with Shinneman’s ability to combine the personal detail with the sociological.
“He has sense of history that permeates his view of a place, and that adds depth to his perspective,” one judge said. “We also appreciated his style and the way, for example, he would move from the specific scene before his eyes to an elaboration of the issues facing small towns in America.”
Shinneman is a former newspaper journalist who is studying magazine journalism. He formerly hosted and produced a radio podcast for Investigative Reporters and Editors, which is headquartered at the School. Shinneman graduates in May.
“It’s an incredible honor to join the group of talented past winners and to be recognized among so many excellent writers here in the J-School,” Shinneman said.
The money for this prize is donated by two graduates of the Missouri School of Journalism in honor of Don Romero, a former faculty member, now deceased, who excelled at magazine writing and editing not only in the classroom, but also as a professional before moving to Columbia. The award acknowledges Romero’s contribution to and his encouragement of outstanding magazine journalism.
Updated: September 24, 2020
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