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NMSU journalism professor wins fourth community media award

J. Sean McCleneghan, a New Mexico State University journalism professor, was honored with his fourth Huck Boyd Center for Community Media research award from Kansas State University.

McCleneghan, along with ten other Huck Boyd media scholars, was honored in September at the 113th National Newspaper Association's Annual Conference in Reno, Nev.

McCleneghan's award-winning research, "Gaining Circulation, Increasing Readership, and Connecting Community: Sound Off! for Community Editors and Publishers," provided a case study of the Las Cruces Sun-News, Sun-News editor Harold Cousland and the paper's controversial phone-in column Sound Off!

"While metro newspapers are battling circulation and readership declines across the U.S., the media companies who own them are looking for success stories. There's one here in Las Cruces," McCleneghan said.

McCleneghan said the Sun-News is considered to be New Mexico's fastest growing newspaper. "It didn't happen by chance," he said.

"It started with Harold Cousland's appointment as its editor in 1991," McCleneghan said. "While reporters change careers faster than an eye blink at the Sun-News, Cousland's continuity and gatekeeping role of the Sound Off! column has been critical to the paper's dynamic circulation, readership and financial growth."

McCleneghan earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and has won two teaching awards while at NMSU since 1982. In his 27-year academic career, McCleneghan has authored more than 120 scholarly articles and papers.