Convergent media major and The Trail Blazer managing editor Julianna Leach, of Ewing, Kentucky, received two honorable mentions in the student division at the Kentucky News Photographers Association (KNPA) education seminar and photo contest held Jan. 25-26.
“The honors are significant because she was up against the machines of Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky,” said John Flavell, faculty advisor for The Trail Blazer and instructor of convergent media.
Leach, a junior, won honorable mentions in the student division for the general news and pictorial categories. Leach chose the photos that were entered in the contest, which was judged by a panel of three experienced professional photographers.
Leach said she first became interested in photography while she was a student at Fleming County High School after attending the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment in 2014. While what inspired her to get behind the lens was environmental conservation, she said her motivations have changed since she began taking media classes at MSU.
“I am no longer interested in pursuing photography in hopes of some environmental conservation persuasion technique; instead, I now want to document and tell the real stories of people and places,” she said. “Little did I know that I would end up falling in love with the idea of unbiased journalism and completely change my path.”
Leach is currently managing editor at The Trail Blazer, MSU’s student newspaper. She began working there as a freshman and plans to apply to be editor this fall. She credits her skills as a photographer to her time working at The Trail Blazer and to the mentorship of the paper’s faculty advisor, John Flavell.
“When I began, the Trail Blazer I had very little experience working with cameras. After amazing faculty advising from John Flavell and the help of other students in the program, I soon started to see progress,” Leach said. “My work has now been featured in the Morehead News, The Daily Independent in Ashland, The Richmond Register, Kentucky Today out of Louisville, Morehead State Public Radio (WMKY FM 90.3), and other newspapers in Kentucky. Producing weekly stories and gaining vital interviewing and leadership skills are all abilities that I have learned and enhanced while at the Trail Blazer.”
Leach added her minor in photography helped her hone her skills and find her unique photographic style.
For more information on communications programs at Morehead State, visit http://www.moreheadstate.edu/cml
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