UBC J-school students win prestigious US award

Lewis Kelly, 1st year UBC j-school student, shoots footage for a story about UBC farm

It’s that other j-school in the west—at least, that’s how I used to refer to the UBC School of Journalism.

Call me a self-centered Torontonian, but when considering graduates programs in journalism last year, I had my sights set on reputable Ryerson.

Nevertheless, I applied to the Vancouver program as a kind of flight of fancy, mostly wanting to contemplate the thought of skipping back three time zones and settling into that rainy city on the Pacific coast. (Okay, and maybe I thought it’d be pretty cool to report during the Olympics. Slight influence.)

Long story short: I ended up nixing my acceptance (and paid deposit) to Ryerson and making the last-minute switch.

After a wonderful first year at the school, I should really give the program some much-deserved kudos—especially given their students’ most recent accomplishment.

Ten students from the school’s International Reporting class, which is taught by former 60 Minutes producer and UBC Associate Professor Peter Klein, have won the Society for Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award, a top U.S. award in journalism.

The international reporting team put together an impressive news documentary called “Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground” on the global crumb trail of electronic waste. It aired on the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE/World last year.

The documentary is also nominated for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in the International Category.

Our director and Associate Professor Mary Lynn Young has called the recognition “a tremendous honour for a new, innovative Canadian journalism program.”

And Peter Klein is proud of his students as well:

“People work their entire careers to get either of these awards,” he said, “so it’s pretty special that our students achieved this recognition for the great work they’ve done.”

But before this all seems way too self-congratulating, I really have to encourage you all to see for yourselves:

Not only did the international reporting team make me rethink all the e-waste I’ve created in my time, they’ve also challenged me to see the word “student” as a mere modifier–and not a blight–on the word “journalist.”

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3 thoughts on “UBC J-school students win prestigious US award

  1. Strange, I don’t remember working on that documentary — or, for that matter, you taking that shot of me while I was shooting B-roll.

  2. Pingback: Do you know where your e-waste goes? « The Fab Files

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