Griffith University journalism student Anna James has been awarded the2016 Australian Press Council Journalism Student of the Year.

Anna was one of the three journalism students awarded Press Council prizes in association with the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia (JERAA) as part of theOzzie Awards, which recognise outstanding achievements by university journalism students.

In April 2016, Anna co-founded Grifitti, the independent student newspaper based at Nathan campus.

“We found that there were few opportunities and spaces to share our ideas on campus, so we created our own,’’ the final-year student said.

From April to October 2016 they published an edition every month and hosted an editorial meeting where they shared ideas and cultivated an inclusive social club for engaged communications students. Their work has been recognised by national news corporations and they ventured into documentary film-making, travelling as a team to Byron Bay.

“This is award is the result of a hard fought year filled with caffeine, late nights and self-doubt. To have a tangible award at the end of the tunnel is very encouraging,” Anna said.

“If you can write, you have to write, and suffer the heartache from chasing a profession that essentially chose you.”

Anna spent five years as a working journalist before returning to Griffith to finish her degree. She cut her teeth on sports journalism, focusing on the growth of baseball in Australia and she travelled to the US and New Zealand, interviewing more than 200 players, staff and fans.

Her work has been published in more than 50 publications including Brisbane Times, ABC, The Huffington Post, Narratively and Fox Sports. Anna also co-anchored the 21stCentury Newsroom radio program which won aWalkley Journalism Innovation Grant.

In January 2017, Annawill spend a semester at the University of Victoria in British Colombia, Canada as part of the Griffith Mobility Program.

“When studying abroad I will use this award to showcase my work and the quality of Australian journalism, particularly from student journalists,’’ she said.