Student’s radio news report takes top place in 2016 Youth Journalism International contest

An annual youth journalism contest, now in its seventh year, awarded a radio spot one of its top honors.

A stronger emphasis on audio was discussed at the most recent Journalism Education Association (JEA) Digital Committee meeting in April.  Members of the JEA Digital Committee contribute to this site and shape digital initiatives for JEA.

Podcasts and radio broadcasts that use free form structure, like Ira Glass’s “This American Life,” require a different emphasis than a traditional reporting segment for NPR News, for example.  Whether to teach one style over another was debated.

The winning news spot combines a casual style of reporting with substantive and factual sound bites.

According to the contest announcement, “For the first time, a radio news report captured one of Youth Journalism International’s top prizes in this year’s 2016 Excellence in Journalism contest.”

Judges comments for the University of Alaska entry by Francisco Martinez, “Spice hits Anchorage hard,” commend it as a “nice contemporary take on the news.”

Moreover, the comments said, “This piece has an incredible depth of sources and was able to explain a complex issue. Bravo! We also liked the relaxed style of the reporter.”

Following is the 4 minute 39 second sound file.



Michelle Harmon

Michelle Harmon is in her 13th year of teaching and advising the school newspaper at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho. She is state director of Idaho JEA and President of the Idaho Student Journalism Association.

Michelle Harmon has 102 posts and counting. See all posts by Michelle Harmon

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