Curtin journalism graduates excelled at the WA Media Awards on the weekend.
Molly Schmidt, who graduated earlier this year, won the Outstanding Student Journalism Award, recent graduate Emily Baker was co-winner of Best New Journalist and former student Rebecca Johns was co-winner of WA Journalist of the Year.
The judges said Schmidt’s three articles showed a “clear talent for beautifully crafted writing well beyond her years”.
“Her Shanghai orphans story is a top notch feature with surprising insights into the scale of prejudice towards cleft palate in China,” the judges’ statement said.
“The fact the condition is the top reason for the high number of babies being abandoned around the nation would be a revelation to most westerners, while the photography is an excellent addition and really helps drive the point home, adding to the poignancy of the story.”
Rebecca Johns, of Network Nine Australia, shared the WA Journalist of the Year Award with camerawoman Jessica Miocevich for their coverage of the Kalgoorlie riots in response to the death of indigenous teenager Elijah Doughty.
Johns won the Television Best News or Feature category for the same story.
The judges said Johns’ winning entry vividly told the story of the riots.
“Rebecca, like other reporters and crews, was always at risk of being caught up in the violence,” the judge’s statement said.
“Her stories had impact and insight, and contained a dramatic piece to camera filmed as the rioters smashed the gate to the court compound and stormed inside.
“Her entry also included a thoughtful follow-up story on the courageous young woman—a cousin of the dead teenager—who used her body as a shield to protect police from the rioters and who was applauded for her dignity and bravery.”
Emily Baker, from Seven West Media, was praised for her ability to craft news stories for television in a style that resonated with viewers. The judges noted the high standard of presentation underpinning Baker’s entry.
Curtin alumni Paige Taylor and Andrew Burrell, of The Australian, won Best Print News Report for their entry “Elijah Doughty’.
This year’s awards attracted 247 entries across 24 categories.
A full list of the winners and finalists can be found here.