Professor rewarded for his contribution to audiovisual journalism


Martin Grindeland holds the Mitchell V. Charnley Award which he recently won.
Photo submitted

Every night, people from all over the country tune in to the evening news. Their favorite news anchors come on screen to update them on local, national and international events while the production team behind the camera keep things running smoothly.

Rarely, however, do we think further than behind the scenes of the classroom where it all began.

An MSUM professor has spent the last four decades of his career providing major knowledge and education in the field of broadcast journalism. Mass communication professor Martin Grindeland has been recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field, winning this year’s Mitchell V. Charnley Award from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.

“I was surprised, very surprised to receive the award,” he said.

Grindeland’s modesty only supports his vision of the field of broadcast journalism. Considering it a “cooperative and collaborative process,” he credits past and present students and colleagues with where he is today.

“These are the people who have blessed me the most and been the best around me,” he said.

However, Grindeland’s humble response cannot be allowed to overshadow the knowledge and passion he brought to the pitch.

Throughout his career, Grindeland has been responsible for launching newsletters at three universities. The first came when he was fresh out of the Air Force where he was a television production officer. He was hired at Illinois State University and co-developed a five-night-a-week news program called TV-10 News that still airs today.

He then moved to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he had the chance to work with former Charnley Prize winner Henry Lippold and created his own informational programs.

Working alongside Lippold influenced Grindeland’s teaching mentality. “He always expected a lot from the students,” Grindeland said. “I tried to expect a lot from the students too, and the students I worked with were always successful on projects.”

Grindeland made its way to MSUM and in 1984 developed Campus News, a weekly newscast on Prairie Public Television. Two decades later, the program is still going strong, now under the leadership of Aaron Quanbeck.

Besides Lippold, Grindeland was fortunate to work with two other award winners here at MSUM, Marv Bossart and Al Aamondt, from whom he modeled various aspects of his teaching and credits them with expanding his vision of audiovisual journalism.

Looking back, Grindeland never thought he would be a teacher.

“I didn’t understand at the time how someone could be so focused on one area,” he said. “I was interested in all aspects of life.”

However, after experiencing the rigidity of the Air Force, Grindeland underwent a transformation and was ready for a change.

“A university environment was very appealing to me because students and faculty members had a lot of freedom to explore areas that interested them.”

Grindeland has more than embraced this freedom with his multiple accomplishments on the pitch, while encouraging those he instructs to do the same.

As a seasoned teacher, Grindeland has embraced the technological changes that broadcast journalism has undergone, but realizes that some things never change.

“The aesthetic is still similar,” he said. “The students themselves have the same kind of aspirations, goals and interests in storytelling.”

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