Second-year UBC Journalism student Anya Zoledziowski has been named a 2018 Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellow, joining an international team of student journalists reporting on hate crimes in the U.S.
News21 is based at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where student journalists produce in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.
Zoledziowski — the only Canadian student selected — joins 25 students from 19 universities in the U.S. and Ireland, plus a dozen students at the Cronkite School.
She and other fellows have already started conducting researching and interviewing experts, and will work in Phoenix, Arizona from May to August.
“I really believe in collaborative journalism,” she said. “I joined UBC because I wanted to learn not only how to report, but learn how to report for communities and with communities that are underserved.”
‘Element of problem-solving’
The year’s project was chosen because of an apparent increase throughout the U.S. of hate crimes — from bullying and vandalism to assaults and murders — involving racial, religious, nationality, gender and sexual orientation bias.
The 40 student journalists are researching and reporting in all 50 states. They are looking for patterns of hate incidents and hate group activities — and the response of law enforcement and governments.
“For me, there’s this element of problem solving,” Zoledziowski said. “How do we as journalists get at this bigger systemic story? What tools can we use to get around this lack of data? And how can we create our own data?”
Zoledziowski has been attending weekly seminars this term taught via video conference by Leonard Downie Jr., former executive director of The Washington Post, and News21 Executive Director Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer-Prize winner journalist and former senior editor at the Houston Chronicle.
Zoledziowski — who is also the recipient of a $17,500 SSHRC grant — is the fifth UBC Journalism student selected for the prestigious fellowship.
Last year, UBC student Lauren Kaljur helped produce Troubled Water, a sweeping investigation about drinking water in the U.S. In 2016, Mike Lakusiak contributed to Voting Wars, an in-depth look at voting rights and participation in America.
Past projects have been published in major outlets such as The Washington Post and USA Today.
They’ve also garnered numerous awards, including four EPPY Awards from Editor & Publisher magazine and the Student Edward R. Murrow Award for video excellence.