Jane Cowan,a graduate student at Ohio University, is the winner of the Bob East Scholarship, which may be awarded to either a graduate or undergraduate student.
Cowan was the first television news reporter into the devastated town of Marysville, Australia after that country’s worst natural disaster, the Black Saturday bushfires in February 2009. She won a series of awards for my coverage of the disaster and its aftermath, including a Melbourne Press Club Quill Award for Best Radio Report and the Australasian Society of Traumatic Stress Studies Media Award for sensitive coverage of a traumatic event. That same year Cowan was one of five journalists nationwide shortlisted for the prestigious Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award. She has since reported from India for Australia’s national public broadcaster, the ABC, and was the ABC’s North America Correspondent based in Washington DC from 2010-2015. In 2015 Cowan was the reporter on a TV story that exposed an unscrupulous surrogacy operator in Mexico, a piece which won a Silver World Medal at the New York Festivals last year for Best Investigative Report.
Cowan writes of her career path, “Part of me would very much love to take a staff position shooting for a newspaper. But in a changing media landscape, I’m conscious the reality might involve freelance. Either way my goal is to do meaningful editorial work for respected media outlets and to keep growing as a visual storyteller with a special interest in social issues. I want to draw on a diverse range of skills in photography, audio and video to tell stories that move people, stories with an intimate feel and a big heart.”
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