Sky News names NCTJ student as Bob Friend memorial scholar

Picture: Daniel May receiving the Bob Friend memorial scholarship last night.

Daniel May, a student currently studying on the NCTJ-accredited BA (Hons) Journalism and the News Industry course at the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism Studies, has been named the Bob Friend memorial scholar for 2010.

The scholarship was established as a partnership between Sky News, the University of Kent and the Friend family, as a tribute to the life and career of Journalist Bob Friend, the original face of Sky News when it launched in 1989.

The 19-year-old student will now have his first-year tuition fees paid by Sky and will also be invited on a four-week work placement at Sky News this summer.

Daniel said: “Winning the scholarship is something I'd wanted to do before I'd even got on the course, so to finally win it feels like I've completed a long journey.

“The work itself to get the scholarship was really tough. We had to do a multimedia treatment of a story in the style of Sky, across all platforms such as the news channel, the website and Sky News Radio.

“I chose to do the story about the final Space Shuttle mission that's happening in September, and the panel selecting the scholar were really impressed by my treatment.

“The news that I'd won came as such a shock, it was the last thing I expected seeing as the other two candidates shortlisted would have also made worthy winners.”

Daniel added: “As for the work placement, it can't come round quick enough. The experience of working for a world-renowned broadcaster and maybe getting some of my own work onto the website is something that any budding journalist would gladly give their right arm for. I don't want to let this opportunity pass me by without giving my best shot.”

Last night Rob Kirk, editorial development manager for Sky News, formally presented Daniel with his award at a ceremony held at the university.

Professor Tim Luckhurst, head of the University of Kent's Centre for Journalism, said: "Staff and students in the Centre for Journalism are fiercely proud of Daniel May. The Bob Friend Memorial Scholarship is the most valuable award available to British undergraduate students of multimedia journalism.

“Daniel performed brilliantly to win it. I am confident that he will be a superb ambassador for the University of Kent, the NCTJ and Sky News."

Following the presentation of the scholarship, Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, delivered the Bob Friend Memorial Lecture.

For further coverage of the evening and Mark Thompson’s speech go to the University of Kent’s Centre for Journalism website at www.centreforjournalism.co.uk.