UWS students honoured in annual journalism awards

Two University of Western Sydney students have been recognised for journalistic excellence at the 2011 Ossie Awards for Student Journalism.

The Awards, administered by the Australian Journalism Education Association (JEAA), are judged each year by senior journalists and editors from around Australia.

In 2011, a total of 140 entries were received from 16 universities and were judged on four criteria: research, writing, use of medium, and significance.

At a special JEAA Conference dinner this week in Adelaide, the work of Michael Cox and Tessarne Rowley was recognised in two distinct categories.

Michael Cox, a final year Bachelor of Communication student at UWS, won the 'Best Print News Story' for a report on the controversial practice of 'planking'.

In addition to his studies at UWS, Michael has worked on a full-time basis at Fairfax Community Newspapers since May 2010. His winning entry, 'Sam's Last Plank', was published in the Wollondilly Advertiser.

Ossie award judges described his winning story as "an excellent and thorough news report that showed initiative, consulted many sources, was comprehensive and used all available media platforms to not only present strongly in print but also allowed the story to be debated and considered further digitally."

Tessarne Rowley, also a final year Bachelor of Communications student, was highly commended in the 'Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma Prize' category for reporting on violence, disaster or trauma in society.

Tessarne's story 'Sticks and stones may break my bones - words will kill me' exposed the human impact of cyber bullying. The judges commended her ability to draw the reader into a sensitive issue, whilst treating the topic "in a thorough and considerate way".

Tessarne has completed the formal component of her studies and is looking forward to graduating from UWS in 2012, after which she hopes to establish a career in the public relations industry.

The Ossie Awards are named after Australian World War Two correspondent, Osmar White, and supported by a gift from his daughter, journalist and educator, Sally White. 


9 December 2011 

Contact: Danielle Roddick, Senior Media Officer