Staffordshire University Future Journalist Awards for 2019 have been launched.

Organised by students from the university’s Journalism and PR department, the awards aim to inspire young people to consider studying journalism at the university. This year’s theme is digital journalism.

Ruth Smeeth, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North and Kidsgrove, officially launched the writing competition on Monday, December 3 and said: “The Future Journalist Awards are a fantastic initiative and I’m proud to be supporting Staffordshire University in their quest to find the best new talent in Staffordshire. Staffordshire University has one of the finest journalism departments in the country and this competition is a brilliant opportunity for budding journalists to make their mark.”

Ruth Smeeth MP for Stoke-on-Trent North & Kidsgrove at the Future Journalist Awards 2019 Launch.

Those entering the awards can opt to write an article or blog or submit a video on a topic of their choosing. For example, entrants can write a review about their favourite Christmas event or an article regarding the impact of Brexit. This year we are encouraging a digital element into the competition, this includes adding photos to work or submitting a video entry regarding one of the topics.

Matthew Sadler, Associate Dean for the School of Computing and Digital Technologies at Staffordshire University, added: “The main aim of the Future Journalist Award’s is to champion local talent. Young writers are given the chance to create their own story for a contemporary digital world whilst also learning the key skills in copy-writing and content creation, via our bespoke workshops in school and colleges.”

MP Ruth Smeeth added: “Learning how to produce work for digital platforms is really vital in this day and age and it’s incredibly important to expose the opportunities which are available to our children.”

Five awards up for grabs, one for each of the five age categories. The winners will take part in a Newsday Experience in the Staffordshire University Broadcast Newsroom, plus other prizes to be announced.

Everyone who enters will have their work showcased on the Future Journalist website or YouTube channel. Winners and runners-up from each category will be invited to a special award ceremony to take place in March 2019.

“We encourage anyone under 18 to participate and look forward to seeing all the entries,” said Mathew Sadler. “Staffordshire University is committed to investing in connecting the local community with the university, linking prospective students with current students and alumni to gain insight into what it’s like to study in a journalism or content creation field and ultimately prepare for a career in the communications sector.”

Over the next few months Staffordshire University third year PR and journalism students who have been tasked with organising this year’s competition will be delivering workshops at schools and colleges around Staffordshire and the surrounding areas, promoting the competition and providing guidance.

To enter the competition, pupils must submit their stories and vlogs via the Future Journalist Awards website by February 15, 2019.


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