Students of UBC’s Graduate School of Journalism raked in more awards in 2013 than ever in its history.
Ranging from classic radio documentary work to social media campaigns for news outlets, UBC J-schoolers received six regional, national and international awards and 13 nominations.
IRP continues to garner awards
The school’s International Reporting Program was a big winner in 2013. The Canadian Online Publishing Awards – Canada’s top prizes for online journalism – honoured the IRP with three awards for projects that sent students around the world investigating under-covered global issues.
CUT, a year-long reporting project about the environmental and social costs of illegal logging, won the gold award for the best video or multimedia feature in the green category, beating out major news organizations like the Toronto Star, La Presse and The Canadian Press.
And The Pain Project, a series of stories on patients suffering without proper access to morphine, won the gold award for the best video or multimedia feature in the blue category, as well as the silver award in the best overall online-only publication website category.
A nod from California
A pioneering new journalism course called Decoding Social Media was nominated for a COPA award in the best use of social media category, and earlier won an Excellence in New Communication Award from the Society for New Communication Research, a global non-profit think tank based in Palo Alto, CA.
The course pairs journalism students with business students to develop social media strategies for major news outlets.
Journalism students Suzanne Ahearne, Mike Wallberg and Sachi Wickramasinghe, and business students Lisa Andrews and Whitney Lindskog won the award for their work on a social media campaign for Vancouver Magazine.
Two Websters and a Leo
The Jack Webster Awards, which taps top-notch British Columbia-based reporting, honoured two J-schoolers with awards this year. Lisa Hale’s CBC Radio documentary The Imaginary Albino, which explores popular conceptions of albinism, won the Webster for Best Radio Feature, and Mike Wallberg won a Student Journalism Award.
Hale’s work competed against 2010 alumna Jodie Martinson’s radio doc To Have and To Hold, which tells the story of a woman abducted by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army when she was a child.
While Martinson didn’t pick up the Webster, she won a Leo Award for Best Short Documentary for Cue the Muse, a CBC video documentary that explores creativity and freedom.