By a STAFF REPORTER
Matilda Boseley has capped off a big year by winning the Gold Mojo for her outstanding contribution to Mojo News in 2017.
The awards, which recognised students’ achievements across a range of categories across text, video and audio, were announced on Friday night.
The judges said it was “impossible to go beyond Matilda” for the Gold Mojo, after it was added to another three awards she had already collected.
Mojo editor Christiane Barro was another big winner, with awards for best news story, best feature and best story in external media.
The judges said there were a number of categories that were extremely difficult to judge, with some great reporters unfortunately missing out on recognition.
Andy Burns, who won the 2017 Gold Quill with Louise Milligan for her report on Cardinal Pell for the ABC’s 7.30, was an inspiring guest speaker.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS
The winner: Matilda Boseley, for her interview with Richmond Graham.
Judges’ comments: Matilda’s interview with The Monash Right’s Richmond Graham was tough, confident, interesting and well prepared. It was the first Mojo video to top 10,000 views (almost doubling the previous high) and caused quite a fuss, introducing Mojo to many Clayton students for the first time.
The winner: Damien Nguyen, for his Blade of the Immortal film review.
Judges’ comments: Damien became a prolific reviewer this past semester, across an eclectic range of films.
He took no prisoners, but when he criticised, he explained clearly why. They were always sharp and well-analysed.
The winners: Steph Chen and Hareem Khan, for their photo essay on cricket bat making in India.
Judges’ comments: There’s a reason Stephanie and Hareem were nominated twice in this category – they bring a combination of reliably excellent work and well chosen subjects. The difficulty of the circumstances only adds to already great work, with this story gathered in a remote city in central India.
The winner: Lauren Choo, for her work on Streetegist.
Judges’ comments: While all of the nominees in this category demonstrated sharp video shooting skills, Lauren came out on top for her eye for detail, creative graphics, crisp audio, and her ability to do a two-camera interview shoot as a solo videographer. Her Streetegist videos have a signature look that’s fun, casual and stylish – and have proved immensely popular with students.
Best sports story
The winner: Elliana Saltalamacchia, for her report on coach Dean Barton-Smith.
Judges’ comments: Elliana won against perhaps more traditional sports reporting through the power of the story she was telling. Her video was beautifully put together, and she chose an excellent subject.
Best podcast (episode)
The winner: Jun Lee, for her Spoonful of Melbourne episode on Little Saigon.
Judges’ comments: Jun’s first Spoonful of Melbourne episode is the most popular hosted on Mojo this year, and that reflects the strength of the content. It was atmospheric and the interviews were outstanding.
Favourite story (voted by Mojo contributors)
The winner: Amelia Lim, for her story on the chaos at the panel discussion on sexual violence at Monash.
Judges’ comments: Amelia’s story was a highly controversial one, causing tension on all sides – which is usually a sign that the reporter has it right. It was a clear winner in the popular vote for favourite for the year.
Best story covered in external media
The winner: Christiane Barro, for her exclusive story on a new drug in Australia, published in The New Daily.
Judges’ comments: This was one of the toughest choices the judges faced. There were a host of truly excellent stories, across a range of styles and genres. Christiane’s story is the winner – just – because of its strength across every facet of journalism. Exclusive, independent, and important. Hard news at its best.
Highly commended: Steffanie Tan’s story on trans teens at their formals. The story demonstrated excellent journalism, and the result was highly readable and moving.
Best Mojo Correspondent story
The winner: Jay Smiles.
Judges’ comments: While all the Mojo Correspondent stories were impressive, Jay’s account of sexual assault in rural India is the most powerful of the bunch. She interviewed local women in an Indian village about this taboo topic, and then constructed a compelling and powerful story featuring personal accounts, expert opinions and insightful research.
Best news story
The winner: Christiane Barro, for her story on cannabis oil.
Judges’ comments: This is one of the stories that earned Christiane the Walkley Award for student journalist of the year, and was the strongest of the three she submitted, in the opinion of the Mojo judges. It was strong, new, powerful story – everything a great news story should be.
Best feature story
Joint winners: Jay Smiles and Christiane Barro.
Judges’ comments: This was another of those categories that was incredibly tough, but in the end, the judges were unanimous in choosing joint winners. Both stories – from Jay and Christiane – got to the heart of painful and important subject matter, talked to the right people, got great quotes and painted a full picture of what was happening, and why.
Best podcast (series)
The winners: Do Talk To Strangers, hosted by Andrea Thiis-Evensen, Sybilla Gross and Matilda Boseley.
Judges’ comments: This is another award where the judges decided multiple nominees deserved to be recognised.
Do Talk To Strangers was a clear winner. The podcast has been a revelation and a delight from the start. It’s a credit to everyone involved.
Highly commended: Tas and Ben’s TalkSport was remarkable in its consistency, commitment and the improvement the hosts showed every single time they entered the studio.
The winner: Alisha Pawa, for her story on an anorexia survivor.
Judges’ comments: Alisha’s video is a confronting, heart-wrenching story of teenage anorexia and attempted suicide. Alisha treats her interviewees and the difficult subject matter with warmth, empathy and compassion … and the final video gained the blessing of the family involved to be published on Mojo.
Best section editor
The winner: Andrea Thiis-Evensen, audio editor.
Judges’ comments: This was another particularly tough category, with very strong claims from several contenders, each of whom developed strong sections during the year. Andrea wins because of the strength she has given a brand new section. She has been involved in every aspect of it, developing ideas, making sure they happened and then providing the technical expertise at the end.
Most popular text story
The winners: Simon Kuperman and Matilda Boseley, for their story announcing the winners of the MSA election.
Judges’ comments: The final story in Matilda and Simon’s election coverage swept all before it. Mojo’s announcement that Go! had been ousted from power – published even before the official announcement had been made, proved extremely popular with our student audience. Great work, and the market lapped it up.
Runner-up: For months, this category was firmly in Elliana Saltalamacchia’s hands, for her story on changes to Monash exam policy, until the last few days before judging was finalised.
Most popular video
The winner: Bilal Ahmed Syed and Lauren Choo, for the Streetegist episode on grooming.
Also shot with Lauren’s excellent videography, this Streetegist episode featuring Bilal’s confident style had 32,000+ views.
Runner up: Again, this one saw a late change. All year, the most popular video on Mojo had been Lauren and Vanessa’s Streetegist episode, with a stunning total of 28,000 views.
The Gold Mojo, for the most valuable contributor
The winner: Matilda Boseley
It was impossible to go past Matilda for this – she was everywhere, getting things done, interviewing, writing, fronting Facebook Live, podcasting, driving politics with a passion. It’s no surprise to anyone that three of the four most popular text stories of this year are hers, as well as being the force behind the first video to top 10,000 views, and part of the crew who got Do Talk To Strangers started.