Historic City News has learned that Brian Thompson, adviser to Flagler College’s student newspaper, The Gargoyle, has won the 2009 Ken Nordin Award in research from College Media Advisors, an organization of student media professionals.
Thompson’s winning paper, “Exploring ‘Connectivity’ At The College Newspaper: Can It Help Explain The Success Of The Collegiate Press?”, was the thesis for his masters at the University of Missouri’s Journalism School. He graduated this past spring.
“It took me two years to write this paper, so I didn’t want it to just die on the vine after I graduated,” said Thompson, who is also a 1995 Flagler grad and the college’s director of Public Information. “I was hoping to get it published or something like that, so this was very exciting after so much hard work.”
Thompson said he was interested in why collegiate newspapers have seen growth in readership while much of the rest of the industry has seen declines. He became interested in what college journalists were doing to be successful.
Thompson’s paper addresses the idea of “connectivity” — the “level of intimacy” that collegiate journalists have with the surrounding college community and whether close connections give collegiate journalists a potential “inside advantage.”
“When I speak of an ‘inside advantage,’ I am referring to the bond that is created between the collegiate journalist and the students and college community as a whole,” he said. “What I found is that college journalists do make use of these close ties when it comes to finding story ideas and knowing what their audience is interested in. And this could play a role in their success.”
“Brian’s passion for journalism and education came together in his thesis,” said Donna DeLorenzo, executive director of college relations at Flagler College. “We are all very proud of his accomplishment and we look forward to seeing how he applies the results of his research to the student newspaper, The Gargoyle, here at Flagler.”
Thompson’s paper has already been submitted for possible publication in the College Media Review and he will receive his award at the College Media Convention being held Oct. 28 – Nov. 1 in Austin, Texas, where he will also present the paper.
Photo credit: Historic City News contributed photo