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2021 Student Journalism Award, Student Team Portfolio winner

The 61% Project

Judges comments

Tremendously powerful, “The 61 Percent Project” offered impressive storytelling across different aspects of a subject that is not discussed enough: mental health. The work mixes illustration and video to inform and educate, while it also provides useful resources and help for people who may be struggling.

About the Project

The 61% Project, a special-interest, digital publication, explores the mental-health crisis on college campuses. It examines this issue’s impact on a generation as it navigates other cultural forces, including climate change, the digital revolution of social media, the 2008 financial crash and its impact on their parents, the college debt crisis, Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo era, fake news, the polarization of politics, and a pandemic. Written, filmed, photographed, and illustrated by journalists from this demographic, these stories report on both mental illness and mental health care.

These frictions, challenges, and cultural forces all exist in the dorm rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, and dining halls of America’s colleges and universities. This project seeks to illuminate those issues and the students engaged with them as they work to overcome these challenges. It also seeks to help those in need. Each story features a call-to-action box that offers a resource for the issue explored in that story. And we encourage readers to take the wellness survey, which offers users an assessment of their current mental wellness.

The 61% Project is the work of students in MND 504 Multimedia Projects, a capstone course at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.