Carin Tunney Receives AFJ Award for Great Lakes Echo Story

Carin Tunney is a first-year doctoral student in the Information and Media Ph.D. program and although she’s never actually eaten a bug, she recently received an award for her article on farming the tiny livestock from the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ). The awards were meant to recognize excellence in 13 categories of food writing and editing, visuals and multimedia. Tunney’s story received second place in the student division of best writing on food.

“I’ve been recognized for broadcast stories in the past, but this is the first time I’ve been recognized for print or online journalism,” said Tunney. “Second place in a food journalism contest is a huge win when your story is about eating insects.”

Starting in the Classroom

Tunney originally wrote the story for the Great Lakes Echo journalism class. She was hoping to write a creative story that also had an impact. While the practice of eating creepy crawlies isn’t exactly popular, entomophagy is a real opportunity in terms of food scarcity. Her editor and professor David Poulson is the one who suggested she submit her work to AFJ after hearing about the contest.

After having such a successful experience in the classroom, Tunney now works as a freelancer for the online environmental news site produced by the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism.

“It’s a great example of how MSU gives students high-quality, real-world experience,” said Tunney. “I love seeing my environmental stories published in newspapers across Michigan. It feels even better than winning second place in a food writing contest.”

By Kaitlin Dudlets