“Journalists work their entire careers for awards of this prestige,” said Mary Lynn Young, former Director and Associate Professor, UBC Graduate School of Journalism. “Winning these awards early in their careers will give these students a tremendous leg up, and reflects the quality of both the journalism students and the faculty at UBC.”
Mindset Social Innovation Foundation Donation Enables International Reporting
The winning documentary, entitled Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground, was produced by 10 students from the International Reporting Program, led by former 60 Minutes producer and School of Journalism professor Peter Klein. The students traced the path of electronic waste around the globe to Ghana, China and India, and exposed a number of public health, human rights and national security concerns.
The International Reporting Program is the result of a $1 million donation from Alison Lawton’s Mindset Social Innovation Foundation. Each project provides opportunities for students to study international reporting and to produce professional journalism on under-reported global issues.
“The e-waste documentary is the kind of project that the vast majority of newsrooms couldn’t have done,” said Klein. “Our funding from Mindset Foundation is crucial, because we’re able to give students this opportunity to really show that you can do good journalism independently.”
Students have since investigated topics such as mental illness in low-income countries, the lack of access to painkillers in relation to the global war on drugs, and the hidden costs of Thailand’s shrimp agriculture industry.
Student Reporters Find Employment at National News Outlets
Many of the students are now employed by news organizations including Global National, CBC Radio, Postmedia News, Al Jazeera and the Toronto Star, further proof that investing in raw talent—not to mention raw footage—is worth far more than words.