Newsworthy has won Best Publication at the prestigious 2021 Ossie Awards for Student Journalism for "its high-quality, issues-based reporting that captures the modern Australian zeitgeist and its place in the world".
The Ossie Awards, overseen by the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia, showcase the best of Australia’s university student journalism. UNSW media students also featured in four additional prize categories.
In choosing Newsworthy as Best Publication, judge Saffron Howden, co-founder and editor of Crinkling News, said: “Newsworthy doesn’t try to replicate the stories of large news publishers. It’s developing a unique brand of high-quality, issues-based reporting that captures the modern Australian zeitgeist and its place in the world. Newsworthy is refreshing, engaging and impressive.”
Postgraduate student, Kaveh Akbari won the Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma – Asia Pacific prize for reporting on the impact of violence, crime, disaster and other traumatic events with his feature on political prisoners, Counting the cost for every political ‘particle of light’.
Judge Kimina Lyall, Deputy CEO of the Dart Centre, was impressed by how Akbari was able to “interconnect one story (Afghanistan) with the traumatic memories of a different community (Iran) in a way that provided a new perspective of the experiences of all people who live through such dramatic shifts in political power."
Newsworthy editor Connie Levett said "these awards are a fantastic recognition of the great work of our UNSW media students and teaching staff in what has been a challenging year".
'The students, domestic and international, have given us a treasure trove of stories that reflect the diversity of our student cohort and matter to them as young people.'
Newsworthy, launched by UNSW's School of the Arts and Media in 2019, was designed to be a space for journalism students to gain hands-on newsroom experience under the guidance of a professional journalist. Levett previously worked with The Sydney Morning Herald, as foreign editor and SMH Ipad App editor.
The Best Publication award was an affirmation of Newsworthy's slow-burn approach to publication, she said, giving students time to hone the fundamentals, to workshop story angles, establish news currency and decide the best medium to tell the story. "It's only been three years since we launched Newsworthy. These awards tells me we are on the right track," Levett said.
"Our goal with Newsworthy is to give students an understanding of what is required to produce industry-level journalism. In return, the students, domestic and international, have given us a treasure trove of stories that reflect the diversity of our student cohort and matter to them as young people," Levett said. "We are always looking for new ways to tell those stories. The introduction of a VR/360 documentary course to the curriculum in 2021 was a case in point. It led to one of our students being recognised for innovative storytelling.
Vivienne Crowle was Highly Commended in the Best Innovation in Journalism category for her 360/VR multi-media article After Penguin Burrows, Fix it Sisters are ready for anything.
Kevin Ding was Highly Commended in the best text-based story by an undergraduate student over 750 words category for his guide to distinctive regional Chinese noodle dishes in Sydney. The story, a casualty of Sydney's lockdown, will be published on Newsworthy in early 2022.
Charlee Harker was Highly Commended for her story Tokyo 2020: ‘Embrace’ of Indigenous athletes must be more than symbolic in the John Newfong Prize or reporting on Indigenous Affairs.
The Australian Press Council Prize for Journalism Student of the Year was awarded to Reuben Spargo of Charles Sturt University. He was recognised for his extensive portfolio of journalistic work across several mediums and in particular his work highlighting the disproportionate abuse of prominent women online.
Explore the full list of Ossie Award winners here.