Seven Berry College students majoring in
communication placed third in the national Newspaper Project Award competition
administered by the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass
Communication. Award presentations were made here earlier this month.
The students won for their multimedia reporting project, The Jews of
Florence, which appears online at VikingFusion at http://vikingfusion.berry.edu/index.php/news/jews-florence/.
The students produced The Jews of Florence as part of their study
abroad trip to Florence, Italy during summer 2012. During the three weeks in
Italy they developed more than a dozen stories across multiple media to tell the
story a minority presence dating back to the mid-15th century.
Berry students placed third after first-place winner Northwestern University and
second place winners Iowa State and James Madison. Berry tied for third with the
University of Texas at Austin.
"The Jews of Florence project
embodies precisely what our department aims to teach our students, which is how
to tell a significant, worthwhile story using the most appropriate media
possible," said Bob Frank, chair of the department of communication at
Story topics include how Jewish Florentines negotiate their
religious and national identity in a predominantly Catholic country, a story on
kosher Italian cooking, a photo tour of the city's only synagogue, and the
heart-wrenching story of World War II survivor Fortunata Franchetti Treves.
The winners are 2013 graduates Bethany McDaniel of
Hunstville, Ala., Kelly Dickerson of Brandon,
Fla., Kayla Sanner of Evans, Ga., and current students
Chardonnay Copeland of Hamilton, Ga., Kirstie Broadwell of
Dawsonville, Ga., Rachel Shin of Fayetteville,
Ga., and Mary Claire Stewart, of Lilburn, Ga.
Darren Carter, a Cedartown communication major and
webmaster at VikingFusion, built the web pages for the series and, after a major
server crash during winter, re-built all of the Jews of Florence pages.
"We are extremely proud of the students," said Curt Hersey, who
taught videography on the two-course project. "It was an exciting experience to
watch our students struggle through cultural and linguistic differences and
technology issues, and still produce an award-winning set of stories in the
space of three weeks."
Joining Hersey as instructors for the
project were Kevin Kleine, lecturer of communication and student publications
advisor at Berry, and Brian Carroll, associate professor of communication.
Leading the support on the VikingFusion side was Steven Hames, advisor for
Fusion and technologist with the department of communication.
be honest, I was intimidated by the converged media nature of our project,
especially video," said Copeland, a senior communication major. "But I found out
I could rise to a challenge, and I learned how to do journalism in any
Conducted by the Association for Educators in Journalism
and Mass Communication and administered by AEJMC's Newspaper and Online News
Division, the Newspaper Project Award competition "recognizes publications
produced by students and professors in journalism classes or as special
curricular projects connected to courses."
The study abroad
multimedia reporting practicum is offered by Berry every two years.
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