RFK Journalism Award won by UNL broadcast students
Released on 05/21/2008, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Four broadcast students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be among the recipients of this year's Robert F. Kennedy Journalism awards May 27 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
The award will be presented to 2007 graduates Rachel Anderson of Grand Forks, N.D., Megan Carrick of Franklin, Tenn., and Justin Peterson and Chris Welch of Omaha for their student documentary "Breaking Down Barriers." Barney McCoy, associate professor of broadcasting, joined adjunct faculty and Nebraska Educational Telecommunications production staffers Michael Farrell and Joel Geyer to advise on the documentary.
"Breaking Down Barriers" examined educational challenges facing Latino immigrants in America and Turkish immigrants in Germany. The students worked as producers, videographers, writers and editors on the year-long project, worked to gain the trust of the immigrants whose lives and families they chronicled. They said they found that people from different cultures, with different beliefs, benefited mutually by working and communicating with each other. The students said they also discovered that people can find better ways to break down barriers of ethnic perception that often divide them.
The documentary, produced as part of a depth-reporting class, aired on public television in Nebraska in 2007. Production assistance for "Breaking Down Barriers" was provided by Nebraska Educational Telecommunications.
The Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards honor the outstanding reporting of the lives and strife of disadvantaged people throughout the world. Known as the "Poor People's Pulitzers" within the press arena, these award recipients have brought to light issues spanning from child abuse and juvenile crime to discriminatory banking practices and prejudice against AIDS victims.
According to the awards' college judges, "Breaking Down Barriers" deserves this year's award because of its originality and compelling portrayal of a serious problem.
Established in December of 1968 by a group of reporters covering Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign, the award program has far exceeded the expectations of its founders. Led by a committee of six independent journalists, the awards are judged by more than 50 journalists each year. It has become the largest program of its kind and one of few in which the winners are determined solely by their peers.