Amherst Daily News reporter wins Atlantic Journalism Award

Dave Mathieson
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Jocelyn Turner focuses on writing a story at the Amherst Daily News newsroom with her 2011 Atlantic Journalism Award close by her side.

AMHERST – Expressing a distinctive journalistic voice requires more than arranging words and pictures on the page in a way that grabs the readers’ attention. Today’s journalist also needs to separate themselves from the rest of the pack with a strong online presence.

The latest recruit to the Amherst Daily News newsroom, Jocelyn Turner, does all that and more, and her talents were recently recognized by the Atlantic Journalism Awards, who awarded her with the 2011 AJA Student Achievement Award.

“Jocelyn is a very promising student,” said her teacher, Andy LeBlanc, TV Journalism instructor at the New Brunswick Community College. “She has a great interest in the business and has shown a willingness to learn in print, radio and television, and working online.”

Turner graduates from her journalism course at NBCC, Woodstock Campus, this summer, and it was her three teachers who nominated her for the AJA award from among eight journalism students graduating from NBCC in 2012.

LeBlanc said Turner’s name filtered to the top of the pack after looking at qualities such as student initiative, maturity, creativity, and professionalism in course work and writing.

“I think everybody brings a different set of skills to the table but one of the great things about Jocelyn is she shows a willingness to try anything. She takes criticism very well, and she’s able to see the increasing blur between different aspects of a job,” said LeBlanc. “She recognizes very clearly that being a print journalist doesn’t mean you will only type stories. It also means doing video and putting it online or maybe doing voice work around the story.

“The world has changed around us and Jocelyn is easily adaptable to the new-world circumstances of journalism.”

Turner was recently presented with a viewer’s choice award for a video she produced about a fire that destroyed the foundry in Sackville, N.B., which is also Turner’s hometown.

“When it comes to video I always try to add an extra flair,” said Turner. “I zoom in and zoom out, and I like to use colour distortion, fades, slo-mo, or anything that catches peoples attention.”

When it comes to print media, Turner said she’s always trying to do something no one has thought of, and points to a front-page story in the April 20 edition of the Amherst Daily News as an example of doing something distinctive.

“I went to the organ donation flag raising and I found a mother who donated an organ to her daughter so she can live,” said Turner. “I go for stuff like that, stuff that people don’t necessarily see.”

Turner said she was sort of timid in her first year of J-school but she shifted gears in her second year.

“When I went into my second year I was tired of doing the same-old, same-old, so I told myself that I‘m going to start using stuff other people haven’t used yet, so I started using more graphics and more research,” said Turner. “I went for stuff that wasn’t part of the norm and I always added more than I had to.”

As an AJA recipient, Turner will attend the 31st annual Atlantic Journalism Gala Dinner and Awards Show Saturday at the Delta Fredericton.

The daylong event will focus on journalism education, and Turner will be speaking at the event.

She said she only watches one half hour of TV a day, which is devoted to Entertainment Tonight Canada, and next month she will take time off from the Amherst Daily News to do a three-week internship at ET Canada.

She said working at ET Canada would be her dream job.

“My ideal job would be becoming the next Cheryl Hickey for Entertainment Tonight Canada,” said Turner. “I’m obsessed with music, movies, actors, actresses, that sort of thing.

“I would love to do that, so if I start at a newspaper and work my way up, eventually, I might be able to get there.”


Organizations: New Brunswick Community College, Daily News, ET Canada Delta Fredericton

Geographic location: Sackville

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