The film, Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground, documents the students' journey on the trail of electronic waste around the globe, which takes them to Ghana, China and India, and took the Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine Award at last night's News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony.
The 10 young journalists, from the University of British Columbia's graduate school of journalism, worked with former 60 minutes producer Professor Peter Klein. The documentary was aired on the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE/World last year and also made the shortlist in the Emmys' Outstanding research category, which was won by Discovery's Planet Green.
Speaking in a press release, Klein, says a $1 million donation from the Mindset Social Innovation Foundation, which provides opportunities for students to study international reporting techniques in the field and to produce professional journalism on under-covered global issues, had made the documentary possible.
"The e-waste documentary is the kind of project that the vast majority of newsrooms couldn't have done. If an editor is going to give you tens of thousands of dollars, they want to be sure that there's going to be a story there. Our funding from Mindset Foundation is crucial, because we’re able to give students this opportunity to really show that you can do good journalism independently."
CBS was the biggest winner at last night's awards taking home seven prizes, including recognition of its business and economic reporting and the Outstanding Interview prize for 'Saving Flight 1549'.
A full list of prize winners is available on the Emmy Awards website. Newspaper and magazines were also recognised in the annual awards with the Globe & Mail, New York Times and Time websites all taking home gongs for "new approaches to news and documentary programming" in current news coverage, documentaries and arts respectively.
Image shows child sat among electronic waste in Guiyu, Guangdong Province, China. © Greenpeace / Natalie Behring-Chisholm. Greenpeace Images