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Reporting from Peru’s Reed Islands

October 2016

Donovan Baltich & Dr. Randle

Weaving a rich narrative of an ancient Peruvian culture surviving atop man-made reed islands, BYU communications student Donovan Baltich was named a top finalist in a national journalism competition.

Baltich reported the story thanks to a grant from BYU’s Office of Research and Creative Activities, which funded his travel to the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. There he covered the humanitarian efforts of visiting BYU engineering students, who built water-filtration systems to improve the islanders’ health.

His story, published on the BYU campus newspaper’s website, incorporated text, video, and images. The combined presentation took second in the Multimedia Enterprise Reporting Competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards. “The Hearst competition is what we originally had intended our presentation for,” Baltich says. “We formed it around their requirements.”

Communications professor and mentor Quint Randle accompanied Baltich to Peru. “To have him there with me was very helpful,” Baltich says. “He saw what I saw but from another perspective. If I’d gone by myself, I wouldn’t have known where to begin.”

Funded in part by donations, ORCA grants facilitate undergraduate work with faculty on research, field studies, or creative projects.

Related story: /byu/news-features/read-and-watch-all-about-it.html

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