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Laurier Brantford journalism student wins David S. Barr Award
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When Laurier Brantford student Meagan Gillmore wrote an article about the south side of Colborne Street in Brantford for The Sputnik in the spring of 2010, she had no idea that it would lead her to Baltimore, Maryland a year and a half later.
In May, Gillmore found out she had been selected as the winner of the David S. Barr Award for her article, “Colborne Street Revisited.”
“I was surprised, even though I was confident the story was good,” said Gillmore, a Brantford resident who graduated from Laurier Brantford in June with a BA in English and Journalism (high distinction) and general Contemporary Studies.
The David S. Barr Award is administered by the Newspaper Writers Guild – Communication Workers of America in Washington, DC. The award recognizes one high school and one college or university student from North America each year for achievement in journalism, and encourages young journalists to focus on issues of social justice.
Gillmore accepted the award at a ceremony in Baltimore in October.
“The Canadian representatives seemed pretty enthusiastic about a Canadian winning the award,” said Gillmore of the awards ceremony. “I gave my acceptance speech, and the president of the Newspaper Guild came up to me after and said he liked it.”
Gillmore began writing for The Sputnik in her second year, eventually becoming the features editor. She received the Arthur Calbeck memorial scholarship in her fourth year, and won the Story of the Year award in 2008-2009 from Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications, and Volunteer of the Year for 2010-2011.
Gillmore has her sights set on a future in print journalism. She is drawn to magazine writing, but also sees the appeal of local news because of the sense of place and community attached to it.
“Being involved in student journalism was not without its challenges, but it’s something I’m passionate about,” said Gillmore. “It’s important to me to not only tell good stories, but to help people live good stories.”