The Murphy News Service is a program within the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Participating students write stories and produce multimedia packages for MNA member newspapers across Minnesota. Each story is edited by journalism school faculty. Students meet weekly to discuss story ideas and consider new assignments. The Murphy News Service is a great opportunity for students to get professional experience – working with editors, generating story ideas, developing a portfolio of published clips – before graduation.
Got the small-staff/no-travel-money blues?
Murphy News Service Can Help!
- Can’t afford to travel to the Twin Cities to cover your team in a state sports tournament? Assign us.
- Not enough people to free up someone to cover your member of the state legislature in St. Paul? Call.
- Have a local student or educator from your area who is excelling in academics or sports and deserves coverage? Just say the word.
- Need timely copy to fill your news hole? Help yourself for free to all of our published stories, video reports and audio at murphynewsservice.org.
The students are led by SJMC faculty members with decades of newspaper leadership and reporting experience. Including: Chris Ison, a Pulitzer Prize-winning and former investigative reporter for the Star Tribune and Keith Moyer, the former president and publisher of the Star Tribune, who also held leadership positions at a number of papers including The Fresno Bee in California and The Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY.
Visit www.murphynewsservice.org for more information, and to view or download current student work.
Partner newspapers include:
- ECM-Sun Publications
- Southwest Journal (Minneapolis)
- St. Cloud Times
- Swift County Monitor-News (Benson)
- The Journal (Minneapolis)
Examples of Published Work
- Eric Mueller. Sun Post. “Area homeless shelters see increase in need for beds.” Published November 12, 2012. Read here
- Amanda Snyder. Sun Post. “Online fundraising site gears up for Give to the Max Day.” Published November 12, 2012. Read here
- Ameila Kaderabek. Swift County Monitor-News. “Use of social media has BHS addressing cyber-bullying.” Published November 9, 2011. Read here
SJMC Faculty involved in Murphy News Service
J. Keith Moyer was president and publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 2001 to 2007 when it was sold to Avista Capital Partners. He had earlier been as publisher and president for the Fresno Bee.
Moyer joined McClatchy in 1994 as The Bee’s executive editor. Moyer also held newsroom roles at Gannett’s News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida, Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester, NY, Westchester-Rockland Newspapers in White Plains, NY, and Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock.  In Fort Myers, Moyer served as editor of the News-Press from 1986 until 1990 and, during that time, he oversaw coverage of poor social conditions faced by African Americans in Southwest Florida that won the 1990 Grand Prize in the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.
Chris Ison was the Assistant Managing Editor for Investigative Projects at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis from 2001-2004. He was a reporter on the Star Tribune’s investigative team, and also covered federal agencies, casinos, and local government. He also covered state politics, local government, police, and courts for the Duluth News Tribune from 1983-1986. Ison and fellow reporter Lou Kilzer won a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1990 for a series of stories on arson and links between the St. Paul (MN) Fire Department and profits from arsons and suspicious fires. His stories have won various national and state awards, including awards from Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club, the Associated Press and other organizations.He supervised projects that won national awards from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Society of Professional Journalists. Ison teaches courses in news reporting and writing, investigative reporting, and media ethics.
Sarah McKenzie has served as editor of the Journals in Minneapolis (Southwest Journal and Journal for northeast and downtown) for the past seven years. She also serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists. Before working for the Journals, she was a reporter for The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and the Journal Inquirer in Manchester, Conn. She has also interned for the Duluth News Tribune, Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. She’s a 2001 graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. While an undergraduate, she worked for The Minnesota Daily, serving as managing editor her senior year.