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2021 Student Journalism Award, Student Portfolio finalist

Revive: Humans in nature

About the Project

The portfolio of UBC Journalism student Serena Renner addresses the key issue of what it means to be human in nature. The portfolio demonstrates the exceptional storytelling abilities of Ms. Renner, taking the audience to the cold waters of the Pacific and to the ancient forests of British Columbia. Her work reveals the deep connection between humans and nature, but also the impact of humans on nature, bringing to life issues of climate change, environmental politics, resource development and Indigenous rights in engaging works of digital journalism.

The first part of the portfolio is the multimedia project, Revive, which was produced for the Visual Journalism course. Students were tasked with finding a visual story to tell in their communities, but because of COVID restrictions, they were incredibly limited on how they could approach the assignment. Ms. Renner fully embraced this challenge and developed Revive, a story where she could push the boundaries of a visual project for digital to tell a story of hope and renewal during these challenging times. Through a combination of photography, text, audio and video, she created a beautiful and moving story of a diverse group of people who use the Pacific Ocean as a healing balm for their minds. The audience is able to feel revived and joyful to see others finding happiness in ritual.

The second part of the portfolio are three articles produced during her internship at The Tyee. Students must complete an internship as part of their Master of Journalism program, receiving 3 credits for it. The series dives into the tensions between old growth forests, which support a rich diversity of plant and wildlife but are also highly prized for the quality of the wood. In her three-part series, Ms. Renner takes the plight of the western red cedar to surface the broader tensions of environment, development and climate change.