F.Y.I.

Press Council awards journalism students

The Australian Press Council has awarded its annual prizes for excellence in journalism studies.

The announcement:

The Australian Press Council, in association with the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA), has awarded its annual prizes for excellence in journalism studies.

These are part of an existing program, known as the Ossie Awards, organised by JERAA to recognise outstanding achievement by students in university journalism schools in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

The winner of the Australian Press Council 2017 Prize for Journalism Student of the Year was Rochelle Kirkham (RMIT University). This prize is for a student who has performed well in all academic subjects and who has also produced outstanding journalism as part of their coursework.

The Journalism Student of the Year category includes a cash component of $750.

Judges said of winner Rochelle Kirkham: “This student had an impressive number and range of stories, from breaking news to soft news to backgrounders. She combined this portfolio with part-time work in the industry, all the while maintaining an impressive academic record that was commended by her lecturers.”

Cheyne Anderson (University of Technology Sydney) and Tim Clare (University of Melbourne) were highly commended in the Australian Press Council 2017 Postgraduate Prize category for an essay on the topic of press freedom or media ethics.

The Press Council awarded annual prizes to journalism students at a small number of universities from 1985 to 2015. The current Press Council/JERAA prizes replaced that program.

“We congratulate Ms Kirkham for her substantial achievement and the others who have been highly commended,” said the Press Council’s Executive Director, John Pender. “We think it is very important to support and recognise the students at universities around the country who can make a crucial contribution to the next generation of quality journalism in Australia.

“By associating the Press Council with the JERAA awards, journalism students become aware early in their careers about media ethics, the work of the Council and our Standards of Practice.”

JERAA’s President, Professor Matthew Ricketson, said: “The Ossie awards sponsored by the Press Council combine a desire to ensure students engage deeply with important issues of journalism ethics along with an encouragement of students’ developing professional practice skills.

“The need for students to learn both theory and practice is central to JERAA’s mission.”

This year, more than 170 entries were submitted to the Ossie awards across 18 categories, with 21 universities in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji eligible to take part.

Source: Press Council

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