First awards presented in Bristol NUJ student competition

BRISTOL NUJ has announced the winners of the 2018 Student Prizes run in conjunction with the journalism department at the University of the West of England.

An impressive standard was observed from al four years of entry but the best piece submitted by any young journalist this year was Matthew Sterling’s ‘Peace in Belfast’.

Matthew himself featured in this filmed piece about the continuing strains which divide Belfast, his home city.

Christina Zaba, Bristol NUJ vice-chair, who organised this year’s judging, said of Matthew’s piece: “An impressive insight into a difficult and timely topic and part of the current national news agenda. We were especially impressed by the ‘then-and-now’ footage and the fact that the film maker appeared in the film himself. Head and shoulders above any other entry across all levels, we thought.”

Matthew won the Level 3 prize and was presented with his award and a £50 prize at Bristol Cathedral on July 19 by Bristol NUJ chair Paul Breeden.

Also presented with her award was Amy Wyllie, winner of the MA level prize. The judges were full of praise for Amy’s contribution, too, an in-depth investigation of prostitution in Bristol.

The judges said: “We thought that this was a mature and insightful treatment of this hidden topic and a detailed investigation, well backed up and excellently researched. It was impressive to include Julie Bindel and her controversial new book.”

The Level 1 and Level 2 winners will be presented with their awards in the autumn.
Level 1 winner is Kimberley Slater, whose contribution was “Human Milk”. The judges said: “We felt that this was a good treatment of somebody local trying to make a difference about a vital national and international issue; that it was timely, and that the approach, of “branding” human milk, was genuinely newsworthy. It was well written, with a good intro and engaging style, although the writing on the infographic was very small and we thought perhaps a picture of breastfeeding might have worked well. We also noted that some women just can’t breastfeed and this was not addressed. But overall an original topic, well treated, well presented and relevant.”

Summer Paliuntye and Gabriella Petty, winners at Level 2, collaborated on their entry, ‘Helping Bristol’s Homeless’. Christina’s judges’ summary said:We were impressed by the intriguing, punchy opening, the story which is startling (who could live in a container? But aren’t they lovely inside?) and the clear depth of the background story; the diversity and good Bristol voices of the interviewees, which helped inform on the ethos of the project, and the confident voice-over which signalled the points to watch for. Good call to action at the end. Very well constructed item and visually interesting.”

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