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UTS Journalism students scooped the pool by winning nine Ossie Awards from 18 categories at the 2010 Journalism Education Association of Australia (JEAA) Conference held this year at UTS.

The annual awards, named after journalist Osmar S. White, are organised by the JEAA and judged by leading Australian journalists. Prizes are awarded for news and feature writing, current affairs reporting and student publications across all mediums. UTS also received four Highly Commended Awards.

Best Print Feature by an Undergraduate Student
Judge, Murray Waldren, The Australian

Highly commended: Anna Watanabe , of UTS, for her piece ‘It’s not easy being radioactive-green’

Best Radio Current Affairs Story by an Undergraduate Student
Judge: Wendy Carlisle, Background Briefing, ABC-Radio National

Winner: Tess Morrell, of UTS for her story ‘NSW Juvenile Justice in Crisis’.
Citation: Tess Morrell’s story was a courageous piece of journalism about the spiralling rates of young people on remand in NSW. She did this through the story of Tom who had been convicted of robbery and is now seeking to stay out of custody despite the onerous curfew conditions placed on him by authorities. Through Tom’s story the listener got a bird’s eye view of a juvenile justice system that is horribly broken.The scripting was strong, the presentation excellent and this was underpinned by a solid dramatic structure. There was no sentimentality, no glossing over Tom’s crimes. Just good solid storytelling about how
the state is dealing with youth like Tom.

Here is a link to Tess Morrell’s radio current affairs story on Reportage Online. The story was originally aired on 2SER show, Razor’s edge.

Best TV Current Affairs Story by an Undergraduate Student
Judge: Bronwyn Herbert, ABC News & Current Affairs

Winner: Joel Tozer, UTS, for his piece on the impact of proposed cloud seeding in the Snowy Mountains
Citation: Joel showed excellent video journalism skills in putting together this report. Cloud seeding is extremely topical and Joel showed solid news judgement in the interview choices and construction of the story. Given that Joel shot, edited and scripted this story on his own – it was an excellent feat. Interviews included a federal Senator, a Snowy Hydro water contractor, and farmer. Joel did a good job out in the field choosing relevant backdrops for his interviews as well as editing the sequences. He also appropriately used maps to show the scale of the cloud seeding project. Well done.

Best Broadcast Current Affairs Story by a Postgraduate Student
Judge: Lynne Malcolm Executive Producer ABC Radio National Science Unit,

Winners : Patrick Wright, Lauren Said-Moorhouse and Amanda Hoh, UTS, for their video package called ‘Surcharge Sinners’.
Citation : This was a good choice of story which was covered in a very professional and thorough manner. Their investigation involved surveying 120 restaurants across three states and their story appeared to have some influence – which was revealed in the final captions announcing that since their investigation some restaurants and cafes have now changed their policies.Engaging storytelling and production techniques were employed including slick titles, a good lead into the story and interesting camera work.

Best Online Story by an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Student
Judge: Jason Whittaker | deputy editor, Crikey.com.au

Winner: Amanda Hoh, Patrick Wright, Lauren Said-Moorhouse, of UTS, for their online story ‘Surcharge Sinners: an investigation’.
Citation: Many outstanding entries in this category tackled substantial public policy and human interest issues in a thorough and thoughtful way. But this entry stood out for two reasons: it demonstrated the best use of the online medium, and it achieved what the best reporting should do – having a real and lasting impact. This was a piece of genuinely original reporting achieved through significant legwork and by harnessing new media tools. The copy was clean and concise, the multi-media aspects were professionally produced, and the Google Map was an important value-add in telling the story. Crowd-sourcing readers via Twitter also demonstrated real initiative. A great example of what journalism in the digital age should be.

Best Story by an International Student
Judge: Steve Marshall, President, Foreign Correspondents’ Association

Winner: Lauren Said-Moorhouse, of UTS, for ‘Making the director’s cut’.
Citation: Lauren Said-Moorhouse’s entry is well constructed piece of journalism consisting of clear, concise writing. A strong opening paragraph grabbed the reader’s attention and held it throughout the entire story. The piece is well researched, informative and ticked all the boxes required for newspaper publication. Congratulations Lauren.

Best Photojournalism (Undergraduate or Postgraduate) (Judged on the merit of both the photographs and accompanying text)
Judge: Moshe Roszenweig, Curator, Head-On, 4d Photography

Winner: Andrew Mackinnon, of UTS, for his piece ‘The Young Disciple’.
Citation: His multimedia presentation tackles the re-discovery of religion among young people in western society. It is both informative and visually interesting.

Highly commended: Benjamin Ball, of UTS, for his piece ‘Ahmed Nur, Taxi Driver’ which looks at a migrant to Australia and his struggles to deal with some prevailing perceptions in Australian society of Muslem migrants.

Hunter Institute Response Ability Prize for mental health reporting (Any medium)
Judges: Amy Laybutt, Senior Project Officer for Response Ability for Journalism Education, Hunter Institute of Mental Health, and Marc Bryant, Projects Manager of the Mindframe National Media Initiative

Highly Commended: Hannah Temby and Nick Lupi, of UTS, for ’20 years of mental health reform’
Citation: This highly comprehensive investigative print feature is a good example of how the media can hold governments accountable and raise public awareness of policy around mental health service provision.The authors conducted an intensive analysis of government reports to decipher the changes to the mental health system in Australia in the last 20 years.Throughout the piece, the authors break down some very complex information into a thorough examination of the facts that is readable by the layperson, thereby aiding in the general understanding of mental health issues. This piece is a very good attempt to increase awareness of the realities and challenges of the mental health system and to encourage debate of these issues with the aim of promoting understanding and dispelling stigma.

The Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma Prize for reporting on violence, disaster or trauma in society (Any medium)
Judges: Cait McMahon, managing director of the Dart Centre, and Professor Matthew Ricketson, of The University of Canberra

Highly commended: Benjamin Ball, of UTS, for his piece ‘The Uprooting’.

Best Occasional Student Publication (Any medium)
Judge: Steve Waterson, editor, The Australian Weekend Magazine

Winner: Precinct, UTS
Precinct fulfils its brief extremely accurately: it is meant to engage with the local community, and it does that most effectively, with an appealing and relevant selection of stories. The writing is of professional standard: the articles showed thorough reporting skills and thorough editing, and a surprisingly high proportion of them could sit comfortably in mainstream publications without changing a word. I found the magazine easy to navigate, with a smart, clean layout. Its use of photography is bold, striking and, I was pleased to see, occasionally provocative. Precinct stands out from its competitors in this category in the different weight, and hence different display, given to the stories. Knowing how much space (or time) and how many words to allocate to a story is a crucial part of editing, and Precinct shows mature and sound judgement in this area. I found it hard to remember that this is a student magazine, and congratulate the young people who put it together; I expect to see many of them register many more such successes in their careers.

Best Online Publication
Judge: Ben Naparstek, editor, The Monthly

Winner: Reportage Online, UTS
Reportage Online stood out for the depth and range of its coverage, and its smart and user-friendly design that dynamically harnesses the multimedia potential of the Internet. It demonstrates how online publication, far from marking the end of investigative reportage, offers exciting new opportunities for hard-hitting stories, particularly on non-mainstream subjects.

The Dr Charles Stuart Prize for Best Publication
Judged by members of the JEAA Executive

Winner: Reportage Online, UTS
The judges described it as an outstanding student publication. This innovative site indicates the future of journalism is in good hands. The student publication combines excellent stories, high quality production standards and innovative interactive tools.

Congratulations to all winners!

Sandra Symons
Vice-President (Awards)
Journalism Education Association of Australia