Why students should enter the Online Journalism Awards

By on June 2, 2015

The Online Journalism Awards recognize excellence in digital journalism … and that extends to student achievements. The awards represent an opportunity to show that those late nights of coding and infinite pizza runs are not in vain. They highlight the best work of digital junkies, new pioneers and social media addicts — which includes students!

Receiving two Online Journalism Awards in 2013 was an unexpected honor for the BU News Service, a team I was part of at the time. I delivered a thank you for those awards before hundreds of veteran journalists. It was a cathartic moment for our newsroom after covering the Boston Marathon bombings. All of our hard work came full circle, and we were able to demonstrate that young people can have an impact on a topic of national importance.

Boston University Professor Michelle Johnson, who oversees the student-run newsroom, noted how quickly students were able to react to the bombings. Standing at the epicenter of the chaos, students used their phones, digital cameras, scrap paper and pens to jot down names, descriptions and describe to the world the story of terror and triumph.

This is what we do; this is our passion as journalists. To student journalists, I challenge you to embrace this opportunity and enter your work to be recognized for an Online Journalism Award. I promise you will not regret it.


Taylor Walker is an Associate Producer at WMUR and recently graduated from Boston University. In 2013, the Boston University News Service won two Online Journalism Awards in the Breaking News and Student Projects category for their work reporting on the Boston Marathon Bombings.

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Jennifer Mizgata

Jennifer Mizgata is Director of Programs at the Online News Association. She focuses on identifying talented digital journalists and innovative journalism projects and providing them with support.