UBC journalism students, alumni and faculty have been recognized for excellence in online publishing, competing with heavy-hitters in Canadian and international media and broadcasting.
In a first for UBC, a student project on the situation of non-Syrian refugees in Turkey, Stuck, was recognized with a 2018 EPPY award. And alumna Anya Zoledziowski was part of the Carnegie-Knight News21 team behind Hate in America, which also won an EPPY.
The Stuck project was also one of the four wins for UBC Journalism students at the at the 10th annual Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA). HuffPost Canada edited, produced and distributed the Stuck series.
Students took home three gold COPA awards in the student category and one silver award in the media category after receiving a total of seven nominations.
Alumni also celebrated in the honours. The Narwhal, where UBC Journalism alumni Jimmy Thomson is the deputy editor, won a total of four gold and silver COPAs.
“The national and international awards reflect the high calibre and range of the journalism produced by students and alumni,” said director Alfred Hermida.
Stuck by the International Reporting class of 2018 took EPPY for Best College/University News or Event Feature.
Presented by the California-based Editor & Publisher journal, the international competition is adjudicated by a panel of nearly 50 media professionals.
“It’s always about the stories we want to tell and the under-reported issues we want to bring to light. So when people do recognize it, that’s really rewarding,” said Alex Migdal who worked on the project
The News21 Hate in America series won the EPPY for Best College/University Investigative Documentary Report.
“The opportunity to work alongside top international journalism students and a renowned editorial team on a topic as ethically complicated as ‘hate crimes’ enabled me to grow as a reporter and thinker,” alumna Zoledziowski said.
Strong showing at the COPAs
After receiving seven nominations, UBC journalism students won three gold wins and one silver at COPAs, which took place in Toronto in November 14.
Stuck took home a gold award in the academic category for Best article or series. The series More Than Words, produced by the 2018 Reporting in Indigenous Communities class, was also nominated.
Students in the 2018 Decoding Social Media class won gold in the academic category for Best Photo Journalism. Competing in the media category, four of the students in the class won silver for Best use of social media for their live coverage on Instagram of UBC’s Storm The Wall event. RDS, Bell Media’s French-language sports broadcaster, won gold.
“To be nominated for a journalism award as a first-year journalist helps me think positively about my future career,” said student Ely Bahhade.
Alumna Joanne Pearce won gold in the academic category for Best interactive story for her final research project investigating groundwater pollution in the Lower Mainland. Second-year students Abi Hayward and Brenden Dixon were also nominated in the category for their coverage of sea sponges published at TheThunderbird.ca.
Jonathan Ventura and Annie Rueter, who are now in their second year, were nominated for Best video content for their story on community responses to opioid overdoses in Vancouver’s downtown east side.
“We are so thankful for the nomination. More importantly, we thank the folks doing the hard work that needs to be done on opioid awareness and harm reduction,” said Rueter.
Recognition for alumni and faculty
The Narwhal, where UBC Journalism alumni Jimmy Thomson is the deputy editor, won gold and silver awards for Best publication, Best news website, Best video content and Best photo journalism.
OpenCanada.org, founded by UBC Journalism professor Taylor Owen, was nominated for Best publication, Best investigative article or series, and Best interactive/infographic story.
Another media startup, The Conversation Canada, which was cofounded by UBC Journalism’s Alfred Hermida and Mary Lynn Young, was nominated in the Best blog column/video category.
Congratulations to our UBC Journalism community, and also to journalism schools and student publications across the country, who took home awards and nominations at the COPAs — including The Signal at the University of King’s College, the Ryerson Review of Journalism, Sheridan College, and The York University Magazine.