December 02 2020

Two university journalism students have won constructive journalism fellowships after competing in an Australasian student journalism project across 27 institutions.

The fellowships were awarded to Jack Meehan of Swinburne University and Ben Bilua of the University of the South Pacific. Both will attend the Independent Center for Constructive Journalism, Constructive Institute at Aarhus University, Denmark for one month when international borders open.

“The student’s curiosity and passion for truth, their understanding of both the power and responsibility of storytelling and their commitment to work for common good by applying both critical and constructive reporting tools shows a clear path for democracy and news media of tomorrow. I look forward to welcoming two of the best young Australasian reporters to work with us at Constructive Institute in Denmark when borders open, to find new ways to make journalism great again,” says Ulrik Haagerup, CEO of Constructive Institute.

The fellowship prize winners were among hundreds of students across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, who took part in the multimedia project with the subject constructive journalism which allowed students to explore new ways of approaching journalism.

A Strong Constructive Approach

Jack Meehan’s piece was about the implications of the Australian Government’s drive for increased gas production which the judges described the work as an excellent backgrounder, based on extensive research and complemented by strong multimedia elements.

Ben Bilua’s piece focussed on how home gardens are supporting local economies in the Solomon Islands during the Covid-19 pandemic. The judges described it as a detailed story, which suggests solutions and provides a strong constructive approach. See both pieces on www.junctionjournalism.com.

The collaborative Constructive Journalism: Making a Difference 2020 project, is part of The Junction, a national journalism initiative that publishes the best student journalism from 27 universities and colleges across the region and is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute of Journalism and Ideas, established by philanthropist Judith Neilson in 2018 to support evidence-based journalism and JERAA (Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia).

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