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2020 Rising Star Lindsey Ellefson | Bismarck State College

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2020 Rising Star Lindsey Ellefson




Lindsey EllefsonThis year’s Rising Star Alumni Award recipient achieved her goal of working for CNN before age 30 with five years to spare. Lindsey Ellefson (‘11) has continued rising through the ranks, having since been recruited for two other positions working in the fast-paced media industry in New York City. 


Armed with an associate’s degree from BSC and a bachelor’s degree in communications with a specialization in broadcast journalism from St. Francis College in New York City, she became an associate producer of social TV at CNN in 2017. Ellefson reported for CNN Politics, Health, Culture and Style. She even interviewed fashion icon Alexander Wang, a piece that earned her a place on a media panel hosted by Edelman PR.

In November 2018, Ellefson was recruited to join NY1, New York’s only 24-hour local news channel, as a producer. “While at NY1, I launched the successful digital project #1ThingToKnow, which was mirrored across the country on Spectrum Cable channels and patterned after my original design concept.”

She also did freelance writing on the side for InStyle Magazine, the New York Observer, Daily Dot and Mashable. “My focus was health, especially the mental and physical health of individuals with substance use disorders. I also began a project that documents positive and negative media reference to the opioid overdose crisis and related topics.”

Then in June 2019, TheWrap News, the leading digital-first news organization that reports on the business of entertainment and media, asked Ellefson to be their media reporter, which is her current position. “I’ve gotten numerous scoops and exclusives and my work has been cited at CNN, Fox News and more.”

She said her goal is to continue representing those who struggle with substance abuse in an honest and fair way, reporting on the unique problems they face. “Since moving to New York and expanding my social circle through school, work and other pursuits, I’ve met a lot of people with various substance use disorders who have shown me, very personally, how complicated and nuanced they are and how badly the media lets them down with extremely shallow portrayals.”

Ellefson is grateful her accomplishments are being honored. “It means so much to me to receive this award, because I recognize how special it is. It is a wonderful reminder that my continued efforts to rise in my career and in my associated goal of advocating for and helping others are being noticed. The community of BSC means so much to not only me, but my family, so there is an extra layer to how touched I am to receive the award.”

That extra layer of meaningfulness is in reference to her dad, Joe Ellefson, PhD, who is a BSC professor and the coordinator of the BSC Criminal Justice program. “As Lindsey’s parents, Marge and I have always supported her efforts. We couldn’t be prouder of her and find it very humbling that others have also noted her strength and progress by nominating her for BSC’s Rising Star award. To have Lindsey selected was the jewel in the crown! We look forward to what is yet to come for this young woman as she continues to progress in her career.”