M.E. Sprengelmeyer helps young journalists
Changing the story one good deed at time… M.E. Sprengelmeyer gives back to young journalists and works hard to keep the fraternity together. “I want to show students that journalism is still alive,” he said.
From working as the sole Washington correspondent for The Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado to becoming The Owner of The Guadalupe County Communicator in the small town of Santa Rosa, New Mexico Sprengelmeyer has no issue with remembering where he came from. “I will never forget when my first Editor Lisa Grace Lednicer slapped me down and how much I learned from that experience,”Sprengelmeyer said.
Sprengelmeyer took over The Guadalupe County Communicator in August of 2009 and since then has made it very clear that he is willing to help students that have a passion for journalism. “You just know it when you see a student that is really going to shine in the journalism world and it makes you want to help,” said Sprengelmeyer.
He has worked with students from The University of New Mexico and Metropolitan State College. Sprengelmeyer keeps a very busy schedule with the daily operations of his newspaper but still seems to make time to sit with a student for a couple of hours editing their story to help guide them in the right direction. He is even willing to publish a student’s story or there photo in his newspaper if he feels like it is good enough creating a great opportunity for the student to get their first by-line.
In January 2011, Sprengelmeyer worked for a week with a group of students from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. It was a Social Documentary class offered by the Journalism program at Metro State. Professors Mr. Kenn Bisio and Mr. Joe Mahoney escorted the students to Santa Rosa.
The students were dropped in the small town of 2,600 people and were challenged to find stories to write and pictures to take. The first night there they were introduced to Mr. Sprengelmeyer and from then on out he challenged them in every way possible. It didn’t take long before the students realized that in a small town like Santa Rosa you have to be able to get real with the people because the stories lie within the hearts of their community.
Sprengelmeyer along with the professors spent many hours with the students that week helping them with story ideas, editing and looking at photo shoots. “It was a life-changing opportunity,” said Sean Mullins.
By the end of the week each student felt a sense of belonging in Santa Rosa and some will return not only to work with Mr.Spengelmeyer but because the little town got inside of their hearts. “We need more people like M.E. His paper is the poster child of kick-ass small town journalism,” said Sean Mullins.
Sprengelmeyer offers paid internships to students and even allows them to stay in his own home to make it cheaper for them. Two students from Metro State College have stayed with Sprengelmeyer in his home and worked with him at the Communicator. “I believe that journalists are part of a fraternity and I want to help keep us a tight niche family,” said Sprengelmeyer.
With the field of Journalism becoming more competitive everyday it is great to see a journalist who has had such a successful career open his heart, his home, and his newspaper to help young, aspiring journalists follow their dreams. By donating his time he hopes to shape the next generation of young journalist’s.
“I truly believe the future of print is in print,” said Sprengelmeyer.
”When I first took over the newspaper my goal was to show the world that I could do it plus I wanted to save journalism nationwide. Now my love for Santa Rosa has grown so much that my only concern is how I can save my town,” said Sprengelmeyer.