NEWSPA to Sponsor Journalism Competition for High School Students

18 05 2016

By Catie Schultz (@CatieSchultz17)

The Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association is sponsoring a yearlong writing contest for Wisconsin high school students as part of a collaborative effort with the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Pulitzer Prizes Board.

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Raquel Rutledge
Pulitzer Prize winner

Students will be able to submit their own work and have it judged by 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner, Raquel Rutledge from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as have the opportunity to win various cash prizes for their winning stories.  Rutledge was the keynote speaker for NEWSPA’s 2016 conference, which kicked off the celebration and unveiled the writing competition.

The winning stories will be announced at the 2017 NEWSPA conference on April 26.The contest will help mark the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes in 2016, as well as Celebrating Excellence: One Hundred Years of Wisconsin Pulitzer Prize Winners, a program of the Wisconsin Humanities Council that is funded through a grant from the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative.

To assist students and their advisers, a 50-page curriculum  guide called “Journalism in the Pulitzer Tradition,” was created by UW Oshkosh Journalism Department members, Barbara Benish, executive secretary of NEWSPA and Miles Maguire, journalism professor and a longtime NEWSPA presenter. The guide was designed to help encourage classroom discussion and give students tips to use for their own reporting projects. It showcases samples of previous prize-winning work in multiple categories such as beat reporting, commentary, explanatory writing, feature writing and investigative reporting, as well as includes potential sources and questions to ask.

This contest is an incredible opportunity to showcase student talent and inspire students to take their writing to a Pulitzer level, according to Benish.

 

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Student’s Green Social Thesis Explores Social Media And Sustainability

10 05 2016

By Carissa Brzezinski (@CJBrzezinski)

Soon-to-be graduating Interactive Web Management/ Journalism student, Madeline Fisher, wants to know whether people are engaging in the sustainable behaviors they see on their social media feeds.

Fisher planned to answer this question through her yearlong research project as part of UW Oshkosh’s Honors Program. Seniors within the honors program are required to complete either an honors thesis or senior seminar to graduate. Students pick any topic that relates to their major and have the ability to choose a faculty member to help guide them. Fisher chose Journalism Professor Sara Steffes Hansen to serve as her faculty advisor.

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The official project, Breaking down barriers: The relationship between social media and behavior change within sustainability objectives, includes a formal thesis paper and a digital e-book. Fisher explained how her project explored how people may find sustainable ideas on social media timelines, such as composting, and while liking the ideas, do not act on them.

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Inspired by her two-year social media internship with the Sustainable World Coalition, Fisher was used to followers interacting with sustainable information she posted online.

“Followers were engaging with posts: liking, commenting and sharing the information I was distributing,” Fisher said. “But a thought that kept occurring to me was this: Are people actually engaging in sustainable behaviors in real life? If I’m posting all of this social content, is it really making a difference? Or is it just growing the organization’s follower count?”

Thus her project was born, also known as Green Social (#GreenSocial).

“Maddie did an exceptional job of pursuing an important research topic with practical uses for non-profit organizations,” Hansen said. “She also used creative storytelling and appealing visuals to make her findings informational and interesting.”

Fisher’s research included two focus groups with social media users, and one survey with over 300 respondents. She presented her findings at the Celebration of Scholarship, Honors Thesis Symposia and IWM Advisory Board Meeting.

Fisher is one of the first IWM honors thesis projects for UW Oshkosh, and she will be graduating May 14.

 





Journalism Student Finalists in 36th Annual Photographer’s Forum Contest

4 05 2016

By Grace Riggert (@GraceRiggert)

Six UW Oshkosh students were selected as finalists in the 36th annual Photographer’s Forum College and High School Contest.

Each of these spectacular photos will be featured along with other finalists, winners and honorable mentions in a hard cover book “Best of College & High School Photography 2016.”

36th Annual Photographers Forum Collage

Clockwise from top left: Corissa Mosher, Allison Tetrick, Katie Salzmann, Matt Schulz, Chelsea Phillips, and Emily Conlee.

 

Corissa Mosher’s photo happened to be the first photo she had taken with a camera other than her phone. The picture is of her roommate, Courtney, who appears to be “emerging out of a natural wonderland” in their backyard according to Mosher.

“In reality if the photo was shot a bit lower, you would be able to see the beer cans that have accumulated on the property throughout time,” Mosher said. “If I would have zoomed out just a smidgen, you would have noticed the fact that the natural wonderland she is standing in is really just a fat bush in our unimpressive backyard.”

Despite the less than ideal backdrop, the stunning photo was for the portrait/self-portrait assignment in Media Photo I and submitted to the contest per Dr. Tim Gleason’s suggestion.

“I got a good grade on the assignment and when I got it back, there was a note from Gleason stating something along the lines of: if you do not submit this for the Photography Forum Photo Contest, I will be very sad,” Mosher said. “So I did.”

Other snap shots were part of long-running projects like Chelsea Phillips’s photos, which is part of a series of images she is calling “Inner Demons.”

“The series shows people battling their demons,” Phillips said. “Each portrait of a person is accompanied by a photo of their addiction. The photo that I submitted is the alcohol demon. It signifies that he doesn’t want to be an alcoholic anymore but he can’t stop.”

For others they just happened to be in the right place at the right time.

“The photo I submitted I took while walking near Asylum Point Park, one of my favorite places to go in Oshkosh,” Allison Tetrick said. “I was actually there to create a video for my Journalism 340 blog and saw the butterfly on my walk back to my car.”

All of the photos submitted by our students capture unique moments in time and showcase the tremendous skill the students in our department have. Congrats to the finalists, we hope to see more of your work in the future!