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Published February 02, 2024
The heart of Wyoming’s press is the newsrooms throughout the state. One University of Wyoming student made it his goal to document these places and investigate how Wyoming’s print media is handling the digital age.
Ashton Hacke, the recipient of UW’s 2023 Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship, spent the summer photographing newsrooms in Wyoming to understand their environment, people and community.
Hacke, a journalism major from Half Moon Bay, Calif., will present about his experience at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in Room 506 of Coe Library, followed by a viewing of his photos in the library’s third-floor gallery. The show will be available to the public through March 31.
The Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship is an annual award for UW students to support strong visual storytelling projects. It is named in honor of Larsh Bristol, a UW journalism alumnus who died in 2006.
Throughout his time at UW, Hacke interned and worked freelance at different news outlets in Wyoming. Because of his experience in these environments, many things sparked Hacke’s interest to capture journalistic moments through a camera lens.
“While working in Wyoming newsrooms, I noticed a group of people who dedicated their lives and went above and beyond for their work,” Hacke says. “I thought it would be important to go into the field and tell a story about the people in the newsroom and how print media is holding up in the state.”
Before Hacke began his project, he created a plan and a set of goals.
“Right away, I met with the Wyoming Press Association board. They gave me advice and stories that they thought may be interesting for audiences to know,” Hacke says. “I was able to take a map of Wyoming, put down all the newsrooms and think of what I could do in the amount of time allotted while also prioritizing stories that cannot be forgotten.”
Hacke appreciates the support the Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship gave him.
“The Larsh Bristol Fellowship is, quite honestly, the best opportunity that could be given to a photojournalism student, especially in an area where photojournalism is sadly not as present as other more populous places,” Hacke says. “This project would not have been possible without this fellowship and the donors to the Larsh Bristol fund.”
The Larsh Bristol Photojournalism Fellowship has been hosted by UW’s Department of Communication and Journalism since 2008.
“Ashton has such a passion for photojournalism,” Department Head Cindy Price Schultz says. “He was the keynote speaker at the Wyoming Press Association conference in Casper a few weeks ago. The audience loved it so much, he was given a standing ovation.”
The presentation is open to the public. For more information, email Price Schultz at email@example.com.