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“The freshest voices and brightest ideas”: CAJ student podcasts win gold and silver in national awards

“The freshest voices and brightest ideas”: CAJ student podcasts win gold and silver in national awards
Words by Jade Murray
 

Centre for Advancing Journalism’s The Yarn has won gold at the 2022 Australian Podcast Awards. It received the Climate Award ahead of podcasts by the ABC and The Australian Financial Review.

Judges said The Yarn “brought the freshest voices and brightest ideas to the climate conversation, using clever journalism and heart to convey powerful ideas.”

Senior lecturer and The Yarn’s executive producer Louisa Lim said, “Our aim was not to tell apocalyptic stories of disasters, but of people acting to effect change at a local level, and I think the judges liked this approach, as well as appreciating how sound-rich our stories were.

“It’s lovely that The Yarn, which has featured work by the widest array of students, did so well. The fact that we won the Climate Award does reflect our strong climate coverage.”

Lim is also executive producer of Uncurated, which won silver in the Best New Podcast category. The series, produced by students taking the Advanced Audio: Podcasting subject, tells the forgotten stories behind objects within the University of Melbourne’s archives and museums.

Current and former students from CAJ, who had contributed to both series, joined Lim at the award ceremony, which was held at the Seymour Centre in Sydney on Monday night.

“We did really well in two new categories. In what was probably the upset of the evening, we beat [the ABC’s] Australia, Are You Listening? for The Climate Award,” she said.

The Yarn was started last year by former CAJ student Fia Walsh, but was handed over to CAJ to produce in December 2021.

The Yarn episodes included a series inspired by the Swarm exhibition at the University of Melbourne Science Gallery, and profile pieces on climate campaigners for the Being Human festival. CAJ alumni contributed greatly to these series, notably Jordyn Beazley, Thomas Phillips, Angus Thomson, Van Tastic and Amalyah Hart.

Thomson, the host for Uncurated’s first season, said, “I appreciate the massive amount of work that at least 20 people put into it to make it a success. I’m really grateful for that and grateful that Louisa and [tutor] Rachel Fountain gave me the opportunity to host.”

The students who produced season one were studying online during lockdowns. Their biggest challenge was making the listeners feel like they were on campus using audio storytelling techniques.

“I live quite close to uni and I would just take the dog for a walk through uni campus and just look for little things that I could sort of build off,” Thomson says.

“It really kept me going in those times as well, because it’s sort of connected me to campus when I was not able to actually visit.”

Uncurated also won a silver at the New York Radio Festival, meaning CAJ student podcasts have been able to gain national and international recognition.

“Our student podcasts set our graduates up for success in an environment where podcast and audio skills are an incredibly valuable asset,” Lim said.

“More than that, though, I hope that they help our students develop a passion for audio which will help them hear the world differently.”

 

About The Citizen

THE CITIZEN is a publication of the Centre for Advancing Journalism. It has several aims. Foremost, it is a teaching tool that showcases the work of the students in the University of Melbourne’s Master of Journalism and Master of International Journalism programs, giving them real-world experience in working for publication and to deadline. Find out more →

  • Editor: Jo Chandler
  • Reporter: Petra Stock
  • Audio & Video editor: Louisa Lim
  • Data editor: Craig Butt
  • Editor-In-Chief: Andrew Dodd
  • Business editor: Lucy Smy
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