Jeremy Lurgio receives ASMP "Best of 2013" Award

Montana Journalism faculty member Jeremy Lurgio recently won a Best of 2013 Award from the American Society of Media Photographers. He was awarded the honor for his multi-media journalism project, “Lost & Found Montana.”

Lurgio traveled more than 7,000 miles around Montana visiting towns that were to be taken off the official Montana state map. He used photos, video, text, and audio to tell the stories of these small towns. Lurgio said the hardest part of the project was taking the time to visit all 18 towns scheduled to be erased from the map. But, he said, the effort to profile each town made the project richer. For example, Horton, Mont. was deleted from the map when the last resident was struck by a train and died. That story came to life when Lurgio interviewed the last resident’s son. Other towns held tight to their dot on the map and resented the possibility of vanishing from sight. 

In 2012, Lurgio created a multi-media gallery exhibit at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. That show recently traveled to the Salt Institute in Portland, Maine. His project was also published in short-form in High Country News in March 2013 and in Montana Magazine in June 2013.

Lurgio spent much of his own money, time and talents to create the project. In addition, he received a grant from Humanities Montana to build the website, a grant from the Montana Arts Council to create the multimedia exhibit and grants from the School of Journalism and the University Grant Program to assist in the reporting and dissemination of the work.

Lurgio loved “seeing Montana from a lot of these back roads and seeing it from the towns that are barely towns anymore.” His experience getting to know these Montanans has influenced his teaching and the advice he gives young photojournalists. 

“You create your best work when you really sink into your story and get to know the ins and the outs,” he said. “All those things you learn help you make the project stronger. Pick something that you are passionate about and a story that needs to be told and get out and sink into it.” 

- posted on 12/20/13 -