Journalists of the future are given awards

The Highbury College journalism students Pictures: Habibur Rahman
The Highbury College journalism students Pictures: Habibur Rahman
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TRAINEE student journalists with The News are celebrating the end of their course with awards handed out for the best stories of the year.

This year, 14 students studied on the Highbury College One Year NCTJ Diploma in Journalism in partnership with The News.

The pioneering course – which is free for 18-year-old college-leavers – mixes high-quality training alongside work experience at the paper and website portsmouth.co.uk

During the year, the students covered a variety of stories including crime, community, features, sport, reviews, and taking it turns to write their own weekly Student Shout column.

Annie Lewis, who has now been taken on as a reporter by The News, won the News Story of the Year category for her feature on a mum who suffered a stroke at the age of 37.

Tom Bonnett, from Horndean, was highly recommended for his court story exposing a paedophile scout leader.

Joseph Stack, from Horsham, was highly commended in the category for his investigative stories about Hampshire Police paying informants and fire safety at a block of flats.

Multimedia Package of the Year was won by Holly Sayer-Gray, from Southsea, who tracked down a video of a ferocious car fire and contacted several people who had witnessed the blaze.

Highly recommended went to Roxanne Le Voguer, from Whiteley, who reported on an organisation’s call for drivers to leave more room for horse riders.

Student Columnist of the Year goes to Maria Bujor, from Essex, whose Student Shout column about Christmas becoming a ‘capitalist scam’ created a lot of debate online.

Highly commended was Lloyd Oughton, from Havant, who had written a piece on England’s fans needing to show more heart.

Course leader Paul Foster said: ‘The students really embraced the course and got stuck into finding stories from across their patches.

‘It wasn’t just community articles they were writing – they used the Freedom of Information Act to find new stories that otherwise would not see the light of day. They had a great experience at The News which will set them up for a bright future.’

Starting in September, it provides students with everything they need to make it as a journalist. And it is free for those aged 18 who have just left college or sixth form.

The course, which is fully accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and a proven way of getting a job, has been successfully running for the past five years.

The diploma covers the essentials of journalism and includes reporting, public affairs, media law, court reporting, video broadcasting, and shorthand.

While the qualification is a sure-fire way of getting into journalism, it can also lead to other careers in the media or communications industry.

Others have used it as a gap year experience or even a way of getting into their chosen university.

If you would like to apply go to www.highbury.ac.uk/journalism (see panel), call (023) 9238 3131 or e-mail journalism@highbury.ac.uk to arrange an interview.