Award Rules

Student journalism produced after October 1, 2022, may be entered in the 2023 Ossie Awards. Entries may include stories or publications created by students for class assignments, work experience, internships, paid employment or their own personal initiative. Some categories are for individual work, and some for group projects. Entries submitted for individual categories must be the work of no more than two students. Deadline is midnight (NSW time) on October 27, 2023.

Entries in the Ossie Awards must be coordinated and submitted by journalism educators at each participating university – students are not permitted to enter on their own behalf. No more than two entries per category can be submitted per institution.

Only institutions with at least two financial JERAA members are eligible to submit entries, but JERAA may accept Ossie Award entries from institutions with only one paid-up JERAA member in cases where:

  • Institutions have only one ongoing/contract Journalism educator on the teaching staff (not including sessional tutors or sessional staff members)
  • Institutions have enrolment numbers that reflect the small numbers of ongoing teaching staff (usually less than 40 Journalism students).

Academics at such institutions should contact the Vice-President (Awards), who will make a decision on a case-by-case basis.

Entrants must have no more than two years’ paid industry experience of any kind (full-time or part-time)

Each entry can be submitted for only one category.

Each entry must be accompanied by a statement confirming the entry is the original work of the applicant and the statement must be verified by the nominating journalism educator. This statement must also include an indication of the student’s year level (e.g. first-year or postgrad) and, if produced as an assignment, the proportion of work it represents (e.g. 50 per cent of the grade for a third-year TV elective). This is to assist the judges in their deliberations on the potentially diverse range of entries.

The entrant email address provided should NOT be a university email address, as winning students may need to be contacted after the awards (particularly in categories with prize money).

Entries must be submitted online using the form on this website. Entries can be submitted in a range of standard formats including .doc, .docx, .pdf, .jpg, .mp3 and .mp4, and files of up to 75MB can be accepted. If entries are larger than 75MB please contact the JERAA Vice President (Awards) for advice on how to submit.

File names MUST indicate the university, category and name of the student entrant – e.g. 21_RMIT_PG_Feature_JohnSmith. The entry form must also include mention of the file name. Where file names or incomplete entry forms do not enable entries to be readily identified, these entries will be excluded from the judging process.

The judges reserve the right to eliminate entries on technical grounds.

Please note:

  • The judges reserve the right to decline to award a prize in any category;
  • Individuals and institutions agree to accept the decision of the JERAA Executive as final in all awards;
  • Each entry can be submitted in only one category. All winning entries will also be considered for the Outstanding Contribution award.
  • The Outstanding Contribution award will be awarded at the JERAA Executive’s discretion to an entry deemed to be of an exceptional quality. It will not necessarily be awarded every year.

Where assessment deadlines and Ossies submission deadlines coincide (i.e. assignment due date is the same as or within a few days of Ossies due date), a short extension on Ossies submission may be possible to enable academic staff to consider entries for submission. This can occur only by prior arrangement with the Vice-President (Awards).

Prior experience and supporting statement

Each entry must include a summary of prior experience and a supporting statement from the student that addresses the judging criteria (research, writing, use of medium, significance) and provides a context for production of the entry. This must include any assistance that students received from lecturers, tutors, classmates, practicing journalists or other people in researching, writing, recording, subbing, editing, or producing this work. If students received assistance, the kind of assistance and from whom should be detailed. Detail should be as specific as possible (e.g., explain whether the entry involved the use of file footage or photography; assistance from professional staff or others with filming, editing or graphic design, etc.)

Jeanti St Clair
Southern Cross University

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Previous winners of the Ossie Awards, dating back to 2008

The full list of previous winners of the Ossie Awards can be found here.


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