Amnesty International Canada open for student award submissions

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MELISSA NOVACASKA
Post-secondary students in any program can apply for the Amnesty Canada Youth Media Award by Feb. 26.

Amnesty International Canada is calling all student journalists to apply for the fifth annual Amnesty Canada Youth Media Award.

The organization will give $500 to a student who has covered a national or international human rights issue through print, broadcast, or posting online in a recognized student media outlet.

The winner will receive their award at the annual Amnesty International Canada Media Award event on April 4 in Toronto.

Amnesty International Canada’s secretary general, Alex Neve, told Interrobang that the prize is among a number of media awards given to journalists working to increase Canadians’ awareness and understanding of human rights across the world.

“Journalists are at the front lines of human rights struggles in so many vital ways. In fact, they often take great personal risks and many have paid the price of their own freedom and even their lives,” Neve said in an email. “Amnesty International’s Media Awards, including the Youth Media Award, celebrate and honour the very best in human rights reporting.”

Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on humanitarianism, founded in the United Kingdom in 1961. Its mission statement is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Although this is the fifth year that Amnesty International Canada has offered a Youth category, the Amnesty Canada Media Awards have recognized national excellence in journalism since 1995. Past recipients include CBC Radio’s Anna Maria Tremonti, Stephanie Nolen of the Globe and Mail, and investigative documentary filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock.

In order to qualify, applicants must be a student at a Canadian college or university from any program, and aged 25 and under. They must have covered national or international human rights issues through print, broadcast, or posting online in a recognized student media outlet, and have emphasized the issue’s impact on young people.

The applicant’s story must have been published during the period of Sept. 1, 2018 and Feb. 26, 2019.

This award may be of particular interest to students in Fanshawe’s broadcast journalism, radio broadcasting, or contemporary media: theory and production programs.

Last year’s winner was Ashley Hyshka of Vancouver. Her story, “No More Stolen Sisters”, looked at missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in B.C.

Interested applicants can contact for the submission form or follow the link and the hyperlink under the Youth Media Award section, to be directed to the online form.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 26.

“Journalists have a profoundly important connection to one of the most essential of all human rights, freedom of expression. They are often the ones who probe and uncover situations where that right and other rights and freedoms have been violated,” said Neve. “Through their reporting they educate the public and help build the pressure for rights to be protected.”