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Grassroots Documentary Could Bring You $2,000

Thom Clark, Community Media Workshop
Thom Clark, CMW
Image by biverson via Flickr

The Community Media Workshop (CMW) is raring to give $2,000 to a student with the best grassroots class project at the Studs Terkel Community Media Awards. If you aren’t sure exactly what a “grassroots project” for the Studs Terkel Community Media Awards should be, check out the Studs archive where you can listen to some examples of Studs’ own work and interviews with him.

The contest is open to any Columbia graduate or undergraduate student who has taken courses or majors in journalism, television, radio or film. Mitchell Wenkus, who won the scholarship in 2010 for Joey & Jamal: A Chicago Public School Story, continues to work in video.

The essential aspects of a  Terkel perspective or documentary approach are:

  • to pay close attention to the often overlooked or forgotten people
  • give a voice to the voiceless
  • find “unofficial”  sources, focusing on Chicago-area residents and community folks, not on pols or official spokesmen

To enter the contest, your documentary or feature story needs to focus on a community housing or education effort or a similar story from the neighborhood. Stories about a “day in the life” of a political or corporate leader won’t get you in the running for this award.

A documentary film about a community “barbershop” would qualify; one about a rock star would not. The winner will be selected by a committee of board and staff from the Community Media Workshop.

To apply, you need a letter recommending the student and describing the student’s work—whether a print, broadcast, or online project, article, film, tape, or combination from a faculty member. This letter must explain why and how the work illustrates Studs Terkel’s perspective of our city — one that recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments or visions of ordinary people. The letter and a copy of the project must be delivered to Community Media Workshop by the deadline, Feb. 4, 2010.

Send project to:

  • Terkel Scholarship
  • Community Media Workshop,
  • 600 S. Michigan Ave.
  • Chicago, IL 60605

Or drop off at 218 S. Wabash – 7th Floor

For more info call 312-369-6400 or e-mail

Scholarship will be presented at the Studs Terkel community Media Awards on March 9, 2011.

via Studs Terkel Scholarship – Community Media Workshop.

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