Winners of the Mindframe for Journalism Education 2021 Ossie Awards announced

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Mindframe for Journalism Education Ossie Awards, Olek Novak and Tayla Burgess, presented at the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) Conference.

The awards program recognises the best work of student journalists in Australia. Each year, two prizes are presented under Mindframe sponsored categories for safe and responsible mental health and suicide prevention reporting to an undergraduate and postgraduate recipient.

Olek Novak (University of Technology Sydney) and Tayla Burgess (Griffith University) are the winners of the 2021 Mindframe postgraduate and undergraduate student prizes for their safe and prevention-focused stories on mental ill-health and suicide.

Olek Novak’s 106 Days of Solitude is a multimedia piece that reflected on his and others’ experiences during Sydney’s extended COVID-19 lockdown. It focussed on creative growth as a coping mechanism, balancing statistics and descriptions of challenges single people faced during the lockdown with a strengths-based and positive viewpoint.

Tayla Burgess’ Safe Conversations on Social Media (published in The Junction) explored Orygen’s #chatsafe program, a guide for young people to have safe online conversations about suicide. The story balanced the voices of researchers and young people involved in #chatsafe’s development, emphasising the guidelines’ role in empowering and supporting young people, rather than censoring them.

Two additional student journalists were also highly commended for their articles’ close alignment with the Mindframe guidelines for mental health and suicide reporting:

Everymind Project Lead, Dr Elizabeth Paton said it is more important than ever to ensure that journalists provide safe and sensitive stories that show how people can get through a difficult time or access support when they need it.

“We know that media can contribute to reducing mental ill-health and suicide rates in Australia when reported on safely,” Dr Paton said.

It was great to see so many entries from journalism students who have made mental health and suicide prevention a focus for their work.”

On behalf of Everymind, I congratulate the prize winners and those whose work was highly commended.”

To learn more information about the Ossie Awards and for the full details of the 2021 entries, visit the JERAA website.

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