STU student journalists nominated for national awards for story on campus sexual assault

Written by Sophie M. Lavoie on April 17, 2016

The Fog of RapeSt. Thomas University Journalism students’ investigative project on sexual assault on campuses, “The Fog of Rape: Normalizing a Campus Crime,” is in the running for two important national journalism awards.

The investigative student team was mentored by STU Journalism Professor, award-winning journalist, Jan Wong.

“I’m so proud of the way my fourth-year students rose to the challenge of reporting this complex and difficult story. They persisted in the face of tremendous pressure from the university administration and even from within the journalism department,” said Wong.

Wong thinks these nominations confirm the value of investigative journalism: “This means that, despite the overall crisis facing the industry, STU journalism is alive and well. Our top students get jobs. It’s also a reminder that the best stories are right on our doorstep, in New Brunswick.”

The first, the Emerge Media Award nomination in the Multimedia category is specifically for student journalists. The student team was made up of the following students: Jacqueline Gallant, Alex Vautour, Paige LeClair, Nicole Munro, Kevin Lemieux, MacKenzie Riley, Mary Fahey, Pat McCullough, Michael Bourgeois, Scott Hems, and Dylan Hackett. This investigative team is the only New Brunswick representation and from one of only two schools in the Atlantic Region.

This prize is run out of Guelph University by judged by independent media professionals. The winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Toronto on Monday, April 18th. Two students will be in Toronto for the event.

The second nomination is from the Canadian Association of Journalists, a very prestigious group that represents journalists nationally.

For this prize, the STU investigative report was nominated in the category of Canadian Association of Journalists/Canada Newswire Group Student Award of Excellence.  Only three other pieces were nominated in this category.

The award recipients will be announced May 28, 2016, at the Canadian Association of Journalists Awards gala in Edmonton, Alberta.

CBC News’ Investigative Unit and The National’s journalists were also nominated for a story on campus sexual assault that came out in February of 2015, just before the STU students’ piece, published in March 2015.

The original piece was published in the New Brunswick Beacon, which is not active this year while Wong is on sabbatical leave. The online publication has been replaced by this year’s fourth year journalism project, Tides of Change: New Beginnings in New Brunswick.

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