Capel-Stanley wins Journalism Student of the Year



The 2019 Ossie Award winners, showcasing Australia’s best student journalism, have been announced during the annual dinner of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia conference in Sydney.

Links to the stories and judges’ comments are below, where publicly available.

The Australian Press Council Prize for Journalism Student of the Year ($750 prize)

Winner – Claire Capel-Stanley, University of Melbourne. (Body of Work)

Claire impressed with the maturity of her journalism, presenting well-written, in-depth and compelling stories across a wide field. She has displayed initiative in pursuing stories and demonstrated leadership among her peers. Combined with a strong academic record, she is a worthy recipient of this year’s award in a field of strong candidates.

Judges from The Australian Press Council

Professor Matthew Ricketson, representing the Australian Press Council, presents the Journalism Student of the Year certificate to University of Melbourne Associate Professor Andrew Dodd. The award was won by Claire Capel-Stanley. Photo by TJ Thomson

Best video story by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student – over 2 minutes ($200)

Winner – Catherine Smith, RMIT. The Streets Barber.

This piece creatively allows Nasir to tell his story. Catherine’s decision to meet him before filming has clearly made him comfortable. The audio and footage were crisp and clear. The clever use of mirrors resulted in interesting shots that highlighted the importance of image and reflection to his story.

Judge: Nicole Hegarty, ABC Queensland

Highly commended: Blessen Tom & Hele Ikimotu, AUT. Banabans of Rabi – A Story of Survival

Highly commended: Youja (Kate) Tan, Monash University. Gladys Liu vs Jennifer Yang. Political rivals battle to make history as the first Chinese-Australian MP

Best video story by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student – 2 minutes or less ($200)

Winner – Wendy John, UTS.  Koalas die as new chlamydia cure sits on the shelf.

This story was well researched, relevant and interesting. Wendy has a nice broadcast voice and told the story through the use of facts as told by authorities and good use of pictures. The vision and interviews were well framed and showed the entire range of the story, from the lab to the sanctuary. Information was attributed to sources and the story flowed well from a creative opening line to the technicalities of explaining the science.

Judge: Katie Toney, Seven News

Highly commended: Gillian Aeria, Monash University. Road safety measure proves a barrier for Victoria’s farmers

Highly commended: Fangying Zhou and Lu Zhang, University of Melbourne. ‘No Trees, No Treaty’: Djab Wurrung activists fight Western Highway duplication

Best text-based story by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student – 750 words or less ($200)

Winner – Indi Brummelen, Macleay College. ‘It was cruel’: girls claim school forced them to rip out fake lashes

Her deftly-written and balanced story is a classic scoop that illustrates societal tensions about how schools police the appearance of the teenagers in their care.

Judge: Myriam Robin, Australian Financial Review

Highly commended – Catie McLeod, RMIT. ‘You get desperate.’ How Billie-Rose got stuck with junk insurance.

Best text-based story by an Undergraduate Student – over 750 words ($200)

Winner – Andre Nassiri, University of NSW. The dark side of Africa’s ‘poster child’

Andre’s piece demonstrated real nerve in the gathering process and went beyond what could have been an easy synthesis of prior reporting. More importantly, Andre did what all good journalists should do: he took a widely accepted story and reported the hell out of it, looking for those inconvenient truths. Little is as it seems, on the face of it. This report is a great example of that battle to get to the truth. He did so under trying circumstances, which also provided one of the most telling details; being told to leave a remote village for asking those prying questions about a government narrative. The piece is very well written and from the lede we know we are in for a jarring adventure that challenges our notions of the world. It was an excellent report in every respect.

Judge – Rick Morton, The Saturday Paper

Best text-based story by a Postgraduate Student – over 750 words ($200)

Winner – Alex Houy, University of NSW. ‘Cult of NIDA’: Titanium ties that bind

The personal often brings an added element to a story and Alex has woven his recollections and experience with observations, interviews and facts to provide a fascinating insight into the highs and lows of NIDA. His story is well structured, taking the reader on the journey, sprinkling it with his own story rather than relying solely on it.  A well written story informs, entertains and keeps the reader engaged right to the end and Alex managed to achieve this.

Judge: Christine Middap, The Weekend Australian

Highly commended – Yifei Luo, University of NSW. Daigou sunset: To stay or leave the market storm

Highly commended – Catie McLeod, RMIT. Victoria’s assisted dying legislation

Best audio story by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student – 2 minutes or less ($200)

Winner – Lauren Rosenberg, Monash University. Yiddish is having a resurgence

The use of Yiddish at the beginning of your radio package engaged me from the beginning, drawing me in immediately. The story was told succinctly, flowing easily with the use of well-structured voice links to move the listener along, without confusion, between multiple talent and the past, present and future of the Yiddish language.

Judge: Lara Webster, ABC NSW

Best audio story by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student – over 2 minutes ($200)

Winner – Maisy Rae, Bond University. Vote for your voice.

Maisy found an vibrant way to share the experience of her first vote, but was also able to tell a wider story about young people becoming politically active across generations. It’s a piece that will resonate with young people who may feel daunted about their first election, as well as parents with memories of debating politics with their children.

Judge: Angus Randall, TalkRadio

Highly commended: Andrea Thiis-Evensen, Monash University. The ones left behind.

John Newfong Prize for Reporting on Indigenous Affairs ($200)

Winner – Mikele Syron, UTS. Tales From The Kimberley: An Aboriginal Youth Suicide Crisis

Mikele’s submission was ambitious, well researched and compelling around a complex and sensitive issue. The trust that she developed with the talents showed as they opened up to her freely to bring the heart of the story, albeit a tragic one. Despite room for improvement in the production, her sense of storytelling and line of questioning allowed the story to be told authentically and without walls, making this compulsory viewing. I am excited to see how Mikele’s work progresses in the future especially in the arena of Indigenous reporting.

Judge – Solua Middleton, ABC Queensland

Highly commended: John Ferguson, UTS. Indigenous artists fighting for rights and recognition

Highly commended: Jordyn Beazley, University of Melbourne. Concerns the power of Indigenous programs to save species is being short changed

Best innovation in journalism

Winner – Aiden McNamara, Monash University. Never talk to strangers. Sometimes they enlighten you.

It took a very creative approach by standing the classic reporting mainstay of the vox pop on its head, and then using this as a framing device to explore a deeper, interesting interview with one person on the street. Also the drum score was a nice touch.

Judge: Nick Evershed, Guardian Australia

Best publication (sponsored by Palgrave)

Winner – UTS – Central News

The dedication of the Central News team to report on breaking news (such as the police raids on journalists) and the use of imagination and creativity in its news gathering and reporting propel it to the top of a strong group of entrants this year. The Central News website is professional and engaging and reports cover a wide variety of audience friendly subjects.

Judge: Matt Oberhardt, The Courier-Mail

Highly commended: LaTrobe – Upstart

Highly Commended: Macleay College – Hatch

Best photojournalism by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student ($200)

Winner – Dylan Crawford, Griffith University

The winning entry showed a clear understanding of the structure of a story telling essay. The images were strongly composed and had single image impact, inside the story. Each image continued to move the story forward with new information being given to the viewer with little repetition. Overall the work was edited and put together well with a good flow that engaged the viewer through until the end. “

Judge: Chris McGrath, Getty Images

Investigative journalism by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student ($200)

Winner – Selby Stewart, Monash University. These student renters claim they were ripped off, so they took matters into their own hands

It was a very topical, newsworthy, thoroughly researched, fair and balanced report.  The judge was impressed by his ability to recognise a good news exclusive and then track down all the relevant people/authorities, including the alleged culprit himself, to ensure every angle was covered. The story served as not only being of interest to the public, but of benefit, by raising awareness and thereby preventing future people getting scammed. This piece should be used as a case study to all journalism students of an investigative news story done properly by one of their own. Well done Selby, it’s clear you’ve got a bright future in investigative journalism.

Judge: Alison Sandy

Highly Commended: Thomas Danks, RMIT. Stigma, Stimulants and HIV – Malaysia’s LGBT Health Crisis.

Investigative journalism (all media)

Winner – Alexandra Alvaro, University of Melbourne. Male specialists still more equal than others in medicine’s top dollar ranks

Alexandra’s piece is a master class in exploring an issue, providing nuance, context and depth. By speaking to a range of established female surgeons, and women on the cusp of beginning their surgical career, she gives an insight into the issue beyond surveys and research papers.

Judge: Owen Jacques, ABC Queensland

Mindframe (Individual, Any Medium, Undergraduate) ($200 prize)

Winner – Chelsea Byrne, Swinburne University of Technology. Counselling call for the big C

This feature article explored the issue of mental ill-health relating to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The author’s focus on reducing the stigma surrounding help-seeking was well supported with clear and comprehensive information from reputable sources as well as individual accounts.

Judges: Dr Elizabeth Paton, Mindframe Senior Project Officer & Rebecca Pryor, Mindframe Plus Project Officer

Highly commended – Jesse Burns, RMIT. Anita Frawley shares her final memory of her late husband Danny

Mindframe (Individual, Any Medium, Postgraduate) ($200 prize)

Winner – Steven Loomes, Western Sydney University. Smashing it out for good mental health

This well-researched feature article explores the mental health benefits of learning and playing the guitar. The article is a good example of upstream, positive coverage that encourages readers to proactively develop and maintain their wellbeing.

Judges: Dr Elizabeth Paton, Mindframe Senior Project Officer & Rebecca Pryor, Mindframe Plus Project Officer

Our Watch (Individual, Any Medium, Undergraduate) ($200 prize)

Winner – Giorgina McKay, UniSA. Australian Government moves forward with couples counselling for DV

Giorgina McKay’s submission provides a robust look at a contentious government decision that experts warn could have a detrimental impact on women’s safety. McKay’s article reflects the evidence base, incorporates the voice and lived experience of a domestic violence survivor and includes the expertise of frontline workers and advocates to contextualise the nature and complexity of domestic violence in Australia.

Judges: Gina Rushton (Buzzfeed News) and Nour Haydar (ABC)

Our Watch (Individual, Any Medium, Postgraduate) ($200 prize)

Winner – Nicholas Hynes, RMIT. #LetHerSpeak the movement to let victims of sexual abuse to speak publicly in Tasmania

Nicholas Hynes achieved clear, accessible and thoughtful coverage of the Let Her Speak campaign. It is a great example of how powerful it is to let people tell their own stories. The package was sensitively edited. There were repeated warnings which is important with gendered violence reporting on radio and support numbers included.

Judges: Gina Rushton (Buzzfeed News) and Nour Haydar (ABC)

Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma – Asia Pacific ($200 prize)

Winner – Elie Choueifaty, UTS. Connecting The Dots: Intergenerational Trauma in the Aboriginal Community

Elie’s piece on Indigenous intergenerational trauma titled ‘ Connecting the dots’ was a well crafted and engaging audio piece that was comprehensively researched to include interviews from an Indigenous elder, experts in Indigenous trauma, epigenetics and youth justice. Based on the lived experience of Isaiah Dawe, Elie’s story arc explained the concept of intergenerational trauma scientifically, and its impacts both personally and culturally, always coming back to Isaiah’s family story. The narrative concluded with positive ways that Indigenous communities are managing to heal from this legacy of colonisation through connection to culture and community. The lessons emerging from this informative piece on Indigenous trauma are important for Indigenous and non-Indigenous listeners alike. Well done Elie.

Judge: Cait McMahon, Dart Centre Asia Pacific

Highly commended – Margarite Clarey, Monash University. How Myanmar families resist armed groups recruiting children

Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub Prize ($200)

Winner – Jennifer Grinham, University of Sydney. Lord Howe Island’s unique treasures flag climate change for Sydney voters

This winning entry by Jen Grinham, cleverly contrasts place, politics and different kinds of science for an engaging climate change story. The impacts of climate change on Lord Howe island that is part of Sydney’s political electorate, licences the article to mix an analysis of climate policy, with an elegant comparison of an urban and island reality as a way of understanding climate impacts and political responses to climate change.

Judge: David Holmes, Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub

Highly commended – Evangeline Bryce, USC. Queensland fires highlight climate crisis

Highly commended – Alexandra Fitzpatrick, Josh Brine, Natasha Miller and Zoe Kassiotis, UniSA. Climate changed the voting choices of young, urban South Australians in the federal election

The Australian Press Council Undergraduate Prize for an essay on the topic of media ethics ($200 prize)

Emilia Megroz, Monash University

In a discussion on the rise of citizen journalism, Emilia has presented a well-argued and written essay canvassing the problems that can be created by the lack of a traditional journalistic framework, including standards of accuracy and accountability, while arguing the benefits of citizen journalism in expanding the coverage of news, giving a voice to many more people and increasing democratic participation.

Judges from The Australian Press Council

The Australian Press Council Postgraduate Prize for an essay on the topic of media ethics ($200 prize)

Kleo Cruse, Monash University

Kleo has written an original, well-researched and challenging essay pointing out how free speech arguments can be used to stifle the voices of minorities. Drawing on examples from France, the US and Australia, she suggests solutions lie in the exercise of greater responsibility in areas such as hate speech and greater representation of minorities in the media, politics, the law and business.

Judges from The Australian Press Council

Main image caption: Andre Nassiri’s story on Africa’s “poster child”, which won the Best Text-based Story by an Undergraduate, “demonstrated real nerve in the gathering process and went beyond what could have been an easy synthesis of prior reporting”. Photo by Andre Nassiri

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