STLPR’s Brian Munoz named public media ‘rising star’ and wins UMSL Chancellor’s Award
St. Louis Public Radio photojournalist and interim digital and special projects editor Brian Munoz was recently named a public media “rising star” by Current, a nonprofit news organization covering public media in the U.S.
Current received 238 nominations from public media organizations all over the US in its inaugural effort to recognize early- to mid-career professionals who are making a difference for public media organizations and audiences. Munoz was one of only 22 up-and-coming talents recognized with the Rising Star designation in July.
STLPR peers described Munoz to judges as a “deeply empathetic photographer, whose sensitive and respectful approach to his work earns a level of trust with sources.” Colleagues, who submitted Munoz’s name for consideration, also cited his passion for media literacy, both in the field and in his work with young aspiring journalists.
His commitments to media literacy include helping to create a pipeline of diverse future journalists, finding partnerships to reduce barriers to entry for students with a passion for photography or journalism, and advocating for the availability of content in Spanish.
“I'm honored to be recognized along with this cohort of passionate public media professionals across the United States,” Munoz said. “I am truly amazed at how each and every person in this class has championed what's possible at their organization — even when it has led them to courageously sail through uncharted waters.”
“Public Media is stronger when we aren't afraid to question the way things have been done. When we bring voices who are not in our conversations to the table. When we attempt to solve inequalities while looking through a solutions-focused lens,” Munoz said, adding that he’s excited to work for an organization willing to tackle tough questions while brainstorming ideas to make our communities stronger as a whole.
Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence-Creator
As further recognition of his impact at STLPR, Munoz was also honored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis with the Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence-Creator. (St. Louis Public Radio is a listener-supported service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.)
Again, his colleagues offered high praise for the judges’ consideration, mentioning how Munoz often goes out of his way to support the work of his colleagues and is fully dedicated to creating an inclusive, equitable community in every aspect of his work.
“While I was given this award, it’s a recognition with its foundation firmly rooted alongside my colleagues and those who believe in non-profit journalism for all,” Munoz said. He said that work ties right into the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ core values of integrity, inclusion, engagement, and innovation.
“When our independent journalism and programming is strong, our community is stronger as a whole,” Munoz said. “We are here to ensure that it reaches as many of our neighbors as possible — no matter where you live, your socio-economic background, or your native language spoken.”