Impressive award nominations for journalism students

By Costa Maragos Posted: March 16, 2018 6:00 a.m.

Some of the current and former School of Journalism students nominated for an Emerge Award (l-r) Jessie Anton, Alex Johnson, Brenna Engel, Jennifer Ackerman, Caitlin Taylor and Josh Diaz.
Some of the current and former School of Journalism students nominated for an Emerge Award (l-r) Jessie Anton, Alex Johnson, Brenna Engel, Jennifer Ackerman, Caitlin Taylor and Josh Diaz. Photo by Rae Graham - U of R Photography

2017 was a banner year for students at the U of R’s School of Journalism.

The school has received multiple nominations at the Emerge Media Awards 2018. The annual Emerge Awards celebrate and showcase Canada’s best in student journalism, media studies and communications for work produced during 2017.

A total of twelve U of R students received nominations in three of the eight award categories; Written Word, Videography and Audio Storytelling.

“The nominations highlight the School’s focus on quality journalism across all media platforms. Whether it’s a radio piece, video documentary or a print article, our students are ready to tell great stories in any medium,” says Patricia Elliott, Associate Professor and Acting Head of the School of Journalism.

Severed Documentary
The filming of Severed, a documentary nominated in the best videography category of the Emerge Awards. Photo by Jesse Anton
Two documentaries have been nominated for Best Videography.

Jessie Anton, Alex Antoneshyn, and Alex Johnson have been nominated for their documentary Severed. The story delves into the story of Janz Stein and his choice to undergo a life-changing surgery that was meant to save his athletic career, a decision that reveals an obsession to overcome a troubled past.

Also nominated in the same category is the documentary Crude Power: An Investigation into oil, money and influence in Saskatchewan, a U of R collaboration with a number of Canadian universities, media organizations (including The Toronto Star and Global TV) and funding agencies.

Students nominated are Caitlin Taylor, Jennifer Ackerman, Janelle Blakley and Josh Diaz.

Nominated in the Written Word category is Alex Antoneshyn for her piece Confessions of a small town, published in The Crow, the School of Journalism’s magazine.  
The school’s radio show 29:45 has been nominated in the Audio Storytelling category. The program features a series of investigative stories. Nominated are Tennessa Wild, Alex Johnson, Cheryl Lu, Michael Joel-Hansen and Busayo Osobade.

In the same category, Brenna Engel has been nominated for I am not a survivor, I am a warrior – a radio documentary about a mother and daughter who survived Canadian residential schools.

“It’s really encouraging to know that my work is being recognized, especially during the thick of the semester. Right now we’re really busy so a lot of times you feel discouraged so getting that recognition, especially in Toronto, is very rewarding and it tells me that work is paying off,” says Engel, who begins working at the CBC London, UK, bureau after she graduates this spring.

Journalism programs from across Canada submitted projects for award consideration. Other schools nominated for Emerge Awards include the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McMaster University in Hamilton, Mount Royal University in Calgary and University of King’s College in Halifax.

The awards are organized by the University of Guelph-Humber. The judges are independent professionals and are not affiliated with any educational institution.  

The winners will be announced at a ceremony March 22 in Toronto.

“After months of hard work, students can be really proud of the professional-quality work they produced,” says Elliott. “Awards are icing on the cake and they look great on a CV. More importantly, their stories gain a wider audience.”