Associated Collegiate Press counts Calgary Journal feature among best
A Calgary Journal story, The Faith of Pam Rocker, received an honourable mention in a North American journalism contest. The Associated Collegiate Press announced that Mount Royal University journalism students Danielle Semrau and Hannah Kost's multimedia project received recognition in the Multimedia Feature of the Year category. The story was originally published in April 2013 on the Calgary Journal's website.
Rocker, a self-described activist, struggled to reconcile her faith with her sexuality until finding acceptance at Hillhurst United Church – an affirming ministry that actively supports the LGBTQ community. Rocker says that the story's success is probably due to the genuine interest that Semrau and Kost showed in learning more about her journey.
"Whenever I see people who aren't necessarily directly affected and marginalized by something be really interested in telling the story or listening to the story, that's really inspiring to me," Rocker says. "So that was really cool to see and I think it really came across in their story."
Although the story was not new to Rocker's church, she says it's a good reminder that it is a unique place and that not all churches are like it.
"For me, it was really cool to hear the story from somebody else's point of view but also get more inspiration and motivation for us to keep doing what we're doing," Rocker says, adding that she recognizes there is still a lot of work to do.
"The work is not done," she says. "It's really just the beginning, it's definitely not the end."
Rocker says she's happy that this story has potential to inspire others. "I think it was a great story to be a part of," she says. "I'm definitely proud for people to read it."
In the time since the project was first published in the Journal, Rocker has since become engaged to her partner Jillian Daniel. She proposed on stage at a Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert in Portland, Ore.
"It's still sort of surreal," Rocker says, adding that even though it's all very exciting, their relationship is still the same.
"We feel the exact same way about each other, but it's just another step towards saying that we are really committed to sharing our life together."
- By LISA TAYLOR