CHICAGO – Five student journalists from Big Ten universities and the University of Maryland and Rutgers University, which join the Big Ten July 1, will receive the first BTN LiveBIG Student Solutions Journalism Award, the network announced today.
The award is part of the network’s pro-social initiative, BTN LiveBIG, which for the past four years has aired stories about the community of Big Ten students, faculty, staff and alumni who are making a difference in the world through innovations in research, education and community service. This year’s program includes a website that is updated regularly with new content about Big Ten community members making an impact.
The BTN LiveBIG Share a Solution program builds on a growing movement called Solutions Journalism, in which reporters investigate efforts to solve some of the world’s most vexing social problems and detail how or why an approach is working.
“These young students show great promise, and their stories show the appeal of solutions journalism,” said David Bornstein, co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network and a BTN LiveBIG Student Solutions Journalism Awards judge who writes for the New York Times. “They are telling compelling stories and as they advance in their careers, we hope they will become even more rigorous in their analysis of the solutions they cover.”
Students submitted 57 stories, including both print and video, and many were shared on www.BTNLiveBIG.com as well as through social media channels.
The five BTN LiveBIG Student Solutions Journalism Award winners are:
- Sophia Bollag, a sophomore at Northwestern University, for In Focus: Improving mental health resources at Northwestern
- Jenna Jaynes, a senior at the University of Nebraska, for Native family works to keep its language and culture alive
- Dan Kilkenny, a junior at Rutgers University, for Rutgers Future Scholars
- Nicholas Munson, a senior at the University of Maryland, for Fresh, Locally Grown Food the Goal of New University Initiative
- Amrutha Sivakumar, a sophomore at the University of Michigan, for Detroit Future City: A 50-year experiment in urban planning
Erin Harvego, BTN vice president of marketing, said the network is pleased with the program’s first year, and she congratulated the honorees for their work. “This is an important new field of journalism and, in the spirit of BTN LiveBIG, one we hope these students will continue to pursue over their careers.”
Bornstein was joined by five other judges, including Tina Rosenberg, his co-author of the “Fixes” column in the New York Times’ “Opinionator” section; Charlyne Berens, associate dean and professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications; Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland; Steve Miller, professor of television and media at Rutgers University; and Jake Wood, University of Wisconsin alum and Badger football player who has been featured on BTN LiveBIG.
About BTN: A joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks, BTN is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With more than 800 events, all in HD, the 24/7 network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. BTN2Go is the 24/7 simulcast of BTN that delivers live and on-demand programming via the internet, smartphones and tablets to customers of participating video providers. Events include football, men’s and women’s basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Olympic sports and championship events; studio shows; and classic games. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation’s finest universities. The groundbreaking Student U initiative provides real-world experience for students interested in careers in sports television. The network is in more than 52 million homes across the United States and Canada, including carriage by all the major video distributors, such as DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse, Charter Communications, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Rogers Cable, Shaw and Shaw Direct (Canada) and approximately 300 additional video providers across North America. For additional information, go to www.BTN.com.