St Petersburg University students in journalism win the Oleg Rudnov Scholarships for the best internship projects
April 24, 2020
The scholarship is awarded annually to three journalism students at St Petersburg University for the best summer internship projects at media outlets. This competitive scholarship was established in the memory of Oleg Rudnov. He was a St Petersburg University graduate, a media manager, and the head of the Baltic Media Group. The scholarship organisers talked about their initiative to encourage the best students in journalism, and the 2019 scholarship winners shared their impressions about their internships.
The idea to establish a personal scholarship for the best professional internship to perpetuate the memory of the outstanding alumnus of the University belongs to the honorary professor of St Petersburg University Lyudmila Gromova.
In 2016, I approached the family of Oleg Rudnov about it. I talked to his son Sergei Rudnov, who also graduated from St Petersburg University. He supported my idea. Thus, the Oleg Rudnov Scholarship came into being, and we are awarding it for the fourth year in a row.
Honorary Professor of St Petersburg University Lyudmila Gromova
Students are nominated for the Oleg Rudnov Scholarship by their departments based on their internship performance reports and recommendations of the heads of the internship programmes. The final list of the scholarship laureates is formed after the founder of the scholarship gets acquainted with the reports and expresses his approval.
‘The accessibility of information and the ability of an individual to seek and receive information from various sources at any given time around the world imposes additional responsibilities on journalists. Not only professional expertise and competence, but also moral qualities – integrity, impartiality, and courage – are required,’ emphasised the founder of the scholarship, Sergei Rudnov. ‘Knowledge about the profession that the students acquire can be utilised in practice differently, but I would want them to be conscientious in using their expertise. I would like to stress that the work of the nominees not only demonstrates their high potential as professionals, but it also gives evidence of a true devotion to the ideals of journalism. And when I recall that these wonderful young people are studying at St Petersburg University, I cannot help but smile.’
Currently, a collection of student essays and research papers is being prepared for publication. It is dedicated to the outstanding graduates of St Petersburg University who influenced the development of the media in Russia. The collection will include an essay about Oleg Rudnov.
The 2019 Oleg Rudnov Scholarship laureates shared their impressions about their summer internships. They talked about their challenges, experiences and interesting reporting assignments.
Valeriia Angelcheva is a 4th year journalism student from Chita. She completed an internship programme at the Information & Analytical Agency PortNews:
‘For me, the greatest challenge was to study the topics covered in PortNews – their subject area is water transportation. When I first came to the editorial office, I didn’t know why a vessel should not be called a boat and that the bell on the deck is called a noon bell. I had to delve into the subject along the way.
The internship programme included many interesting assignments, such as making a documentary from a book. While working, I often felt tired and stressed. I was afraid that I would fail. But I did it, and it helped me to believe in myself. It turned out I am capable of more than just news! Also, I came up with the concept of the PortNews TV YouTube channel and started making videos for it. There had been no such thing at PortNews before my time with them.’
Aleksandra Sidorkina is a 4th year international journalism student from St Petersburg. She completed an internship programme in the daily business newspaper ‘RBK Petersburg’:
‘The most challenging aspect was preparing analytical materials. For this, I had to communicate with experts on topics that I had no prior experience in. For example, I had to make a selection of opinions about a potential shortage of therapeutic drugs in St Petersburg. It took a while to thoroughly study the current market situation.
The most valuable experience that I gained during the internship, was the editors’ guidance. My texts used to be overly verbose and difficult to read. After editing they would become easily comprehensible; yet, they retained their in-depth analysis. Now I always try to write like that.’
Andrei Okun is a 4th year journalism student from Vladivostok. He completed an internship programme in the online publication ‘MR7.ru’:
‘My material, which I intended as a report, suddenly turned into an investigation. It was vital to realise that people, victims of lawlessness, are counting on me and my text. I had no experience in investigative journalism, therefore I felt anxious and afraid that I might fail my assignment.
I am particularly proud that I managed to complete the investigation about the asphalt mixing plant. Indeed, they tried to conceal the evidence. Nonetheless, I was able to prove that this plant is not only responsible for polluting the air in the area, but it is also against zoning regulations that the plant is situated in the Kolomyagi area.’
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