Each year approximately 400 entries are submitted for an EPPY award, presented by Editor & Publisher and representing over 200 media-affiliated websites. With 30 different categories as well as international submissions, Temple University secured 11 different nominations in both the professional and collegiate categories.
The nominations included multimedia websites such as "TU South Africa," "Philadelphia Neighborhoods," "Covering Addiction: Living Free," and other publications giving a voice to topics not typically represented in the mainstream media. "Bustleton: Amateur Boxing Champion Punches for the Gold" won for "Best Sports Video on a Website with under 1 million unique monthly visitors."
"Temple students traveled over 7,000 miles from campus and in less than three weeks were able to produce work significant enough to place in an international competition," said Linn Washington, director of Temple's South Africa study abroad program.
Created in 2011, TU South Africa is a student-run multimedia website that incorporates professional journalism with firsthand exposure of South Africa's diverse societal makeup and political history. Each student is given the opportunity to create a feature story to report on daily activities and community affairs.
The immersion course takes place over four weeks and consists of numerous cultural excursions and opportunities for students to expand their worldview. The website contains "Coming out in a 'Rainbow Nation'" by Michaela Winberg, nominated in the Best College/University News or Event Feature category, that features several South African citizens of the LGBT community. The piece illustrates the familial and social issues faced daily, despite living in the first African country to adopt same sex marriage.
'Philadelphianeighborhoods.com" incorporates a similar mission, only this time in the more familiar undercovered communities of Philadelphia. The website serves as the portfolio of a course serving as the recipient of nearly three dozen regional and national journalism awards.
Each semester, the website is produced by students participating in the Journalism major capstone. The students are responsible for each concentrating on one neighborhood in which they must provide local coverage.
"We do stories about people that wouldn't receive coverage elsewhere including neighborhood teachers, business owners, and just normal people," said George Miller, current program director and assistant chair of Klein's Department of Journalism. The course and website assist in preparing students for the world of ever evolving media platforms.
"The goal is to help students build for the rest of their lives, and that's what we are trying to do," said Washington.