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Our students are learning by doing, uncovering impactful stories and winning awards along the way. Our mission today is to empower a more diverse student body to articulate their experiences and perspectives and be the storytellers and watchdogs of tomorrow. We are profoundly thankful to our giving community for supporting that mission throughout Campaign Montana and into the future.
Director Denise Dowling



Private support helped grow our scholarships so that we offer students more than $200,000 in support every academic year. These scholarships not only allow students to pursue their education at the School of Journalism, they also allow students to take advantage of the transformational experiences that impact their careers, including traveling abroad to create and publish stories of international significance, covering the biennial Montana State Legislature, and covering a variety of issues across Montana’s seven Native American reservations.

montana media lab

At the beginning of Campaign Montana, we knew we had to build an outward-facing program to engage non-journalists in the craft and share the importance of journalism in our democracy with the community at large. Through brainstorms and pilot programs we shaped the vision mid-campaign to build what would become the Montana Media Lab — an innovative, digital media lab based at the School of Journalism. Donor support enabled our vision to come alive. The goal of the Montana Media Lab is to give journalists and non-journalists alike the tools to tell their stories effectively across multiple platforms. The Lab offers hands-on media workshops for all skill levels taught by industry experts. We also designed and implemented news literacy and digital storytelling projects in rural public schools across Montana. The work in middle and high schools is aimed to empower rural and Native American youth to both find their voices at a young age and learn to navigate the 24/7 media world we live in.

Montana Journalism Abroad

Montana Journalism Abroad offers students a chance to take part in an international investigative reporting project with their peers. Past Montana Journalism Abroad trips have produced media featured in the Atlantic’s CityLab, Montana Public Radio and a variety of international news outlets. Private support during Campaign Montana subsidized the cost of these international trips so students who may not otherwise have been able to take advantage of these opportunities could do so.

impact fund

Through Campaign Montana, philanthropic support grew our Impact Fund, which provides unrestricted support where and when it’s needed most. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Impact Fund allowed us to pivot quickly to provide new programs and student support. Philanthropic gifts to the Journalism Impact Fund allowed us to purchase new equipment for each student during the pandemic and to provide stipends to student interns.


We’ve achieved so much during Campaign Montana.
We will continue the momentum with these fundraising priorities.

Impact Fund
Impact Funds across campus help ensure UM’s excellence by providing unrestricted support where and when it is most needed. Your gift will help us provide the essential opportunities and resources that students and faculty need to thrive. Impact Funds are often the key to converting a strategic idea into meaningful action in the challenging and ever-changing landscape of higher education. Your gift will support such opportunities as faculty members attending professional conferences and presenting research or students in need of mentoring or emergency support to stay on track to graduate.
New Voices Initiative
The UM School of Journalism aims to build more robust recruiting efforts that will enhance diversity among our student body. We believe it is imperative to share the reporting power with students from diverse backgrounds — with representation from different ethnicities and socioeconomic and other groups. It makes for better journalism, more intimate perspectives and eventually a greater democracy. Your gift will help us attract students from diverse backgrounds so they can gain the skills to report on their corners of the world.
Montana Media Lab
Thanks to donor support during Campaign Montana, in 2019 we launched the Montana Media Lab — our innovative, digital media lab specializing in hands-on media workshops and a news literacy and digital storytelling initiative in Montana middle and high schools. In spring 2020, we initiated a statewide oral history project, allowing students from some of the most rural parts of the state to create a living archive of this unprecedented time in history. We also developed online versions of our news literacy and digital storytelling trainings for public schools across Montana. With private support, we will continue to expand our workshop offerings both online and in-person. We will extend our reach across Montana to build news literacy and diverse storytellers by serving 1,000 high school students and producing 100 local news stories with them by 2024; all while connecting with future Griz students across Montana and the inland Northwest.

Make no small plans. Donate

Donors like you have opened the door to UM Journalism’s future. With your support, we are building the programmatic infrastructure to take us into the next chapter of journalism, higher education and our democracy. Your private giving is allowing us to be nimble and meet the challenges and shifting tides, new technologies and modes of communication and storytelling. Your leadership during Campaign Montana is defining and shaping this chapter of our story.