By Jaclyn Mika (RSJ ’08)
The Ryerson Review of Journalism has won seven awards or honorable mentions at this year’s Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Student Magazine Contest.
“We are extremely pleased by our showing at this year’s AEJMC awards. It was a great way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Ryerson Review of Journalism, which has consistently earned major awards throughout its history,” said Stephen Trumper, RRJ co-instructor. “All our honorees exhibited the high journalistic standards we encourage students to reach.”
Trumper described the editorial mix of this year’s print edition as one of the best editorial mixes the RRJ has had in years.
“Driven” by Sarah Krichel, placed first in the Articles—People category. Krichel profiled elusive Toronto Sun editor Adrienne Batra.
Judge Diane Cho, features editor for People, described the piece in her evaluation as “riveting from start to finish.”
“Krichel does an outstanding job using key quotes that reveal more of Batra’s character and moves the story along, which helps the entire piece flow seamlessly from one scene to the next,” Cho wrote. She added that Batra was an excellent profile subject and that Krichel “was able to hit several different emotional notes which added depth and dimension to Batra’s character.”
Krichel said she was grateful “Driven” was recognized by the AEJMC because it meant having nuanced conversation about a complicated topic. She found herself lost several times while writing the piece. She further detailed her reporting process in a piece for J-Source.
“After a certain point, I had no idea what I it was trying to accomplish with it anymore. There is just so much about the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Sun that makes her such an intriguing public figure,” she said. “But the award instilled in me that tackling such topics is worth it every time.”
Krichel is now EIC of The Eyeopener, where you can find more of her work. To current students she said: “Remember to stay opted in!”
Linsey Raschkowan also placed first in the category Articles—First Person for her piece: “What Journalists Don’t Talk About When Women Talk About Abortion.”
Judge Noah Michelson, editorial director of The Huffington Post, described the piece as: “well-written, well-researched, well-reported and satisfyingly meta in that it uses the personal essay format to tackle the exact problem the piece is laying out.”
“The subject matter is timely, the approach is thoughtful and what unfolds is simultaneously surprisingly intimate, startlingly candid and skillfully illuminating,” he added.
Michal Stein’s piece, “Hitting the Motherload,” about Rachel Mendleson and her investigation into Motherisk Drug Testing Lab placed second in the Articles—People category.
In her write up, Cho said the piece: “really blew me away. The reporting was very impressive and she did a great job condensing and stringing together many different events, while keeping her timelines and writing tight at the same time, which is very difficult to do.”
Stein, now a HuffPost and Yahoo Canada editorial assistant, was surprised when she found out her piece had placed second—she had no idea that the RRJ instructors had chosen it to be submitted.
“I was very moved to have my piece recognized by the AEJMC. This was the longest I had ever worked on a story, so getting this kind of recognition felt so validating,” she said.
“I feel really lucky to have worked with everyone who was on the RRJ this year, and with Steve and Sonya,” Stein added. “I learned a lot from everyone this year, and I’ve been having a lot of fun going through the magazines and properly reading all the features. I’m excited to see what everyone does next!”
The RRJ instructors also had a pleasant surprise from this year’s awards.
“One of the terrific surprises of this year’s awards was the recognition of the RRJ’s website, a first for the Review,” Trumper said.
The RRJ placed second in the Online Magazine category. Danielle Cadet, managing editor of Unbothered Refinery29 and former editor of The Undefeated ESPN described the site as well–organized and informative with a clean design and diverse content.
“The reporting done by the students at Ryerson is incredibly impressive,” she wrote in her review.
Sonya Fatah, co-instructor of the RRJ, said she and Trumper are preparing to meet the 2019-2020 RRJ editors—and set them a challenge.
“We’ve been working hard on improving our website for the past three years to better reflect and analyze what goes on in Canadian journalism,” she said. “We are now in the process of getting ready to meet this year’s crop of new RRJ editors and challenge them to meet—and surpass—the award-winning efforts of the students who came before them.”
The full list of RRJ pieces that placed in the 2019 AEJMC Student Magazine Contest:
Second Place: Ryerson Review of Journalism
Honorable Mention: Men of Letters by Andrew Cruickshank
First Place: Driven by Sarah Krichel
Second Place: Hitting the Motherload by Michal Stein.
Third Place: Rolling with the Punches by Aurora Zboch
Honorable Mention: Yesterday’s Heroes by Hannah Ziegler
First Place: What Journalists Don’t Talk About When Women Talk About Abortion by Linsey