For the second year running, the NCTJ lent its support to the annual Shine School Media Awards, a national competition that aims to encourage and recognise young creative talent in secondary schools.
Developed by the Stationers’ Foundation, which is part of the Stationers’ Company (the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers), the awards call on schools across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to produce a school magazine, newspaper, newsletter, digital edition or website.
As well as assisting with the final round of judging, the NCTJ provided three prizes to the winners of the Best Original Photograph, Best Feature Article and Best Overall Editorial Content categories. The winning students were each given the opportunity to choose a unit from the NCTJ Certificate in Foundation Journalism as their prize.
Felix Robertson, of Prior Park College, won the Best Feature Article award and chose the NCTJ Feature Writing unit. Sophie Rontogiannis and Tom Leverett from Ibstock Place School won the Best Overall Editorial Content award, with Sophie choosing the Sports Reporting unit and Tom choosing Gathering Information. Finally, Archie Mackechnie of Dollar Academy won the award for Best Original Photograph, and also chose the Sports Reporting unit.
Speaking after the ceremony in June 2017, NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher said: “The talent on show was incredibly impressive, and I would like to praise the astonishing enthusiasm of the schools for their projects.”
Annie Hotton, chair of Shine, said: “Our ambition is to reach out to all secondary schools in the UK. We know that the Shine project can be the focus for many school projects. The competition has been designed to fit into the school curriculum and can be a great platform for young students, helping them to build their skills in English, creative writing, art, illustration and design, IT and media studies.
“By entering a school publication the project offers students an exciting opportunity to find new concepts and challenges, work towards their future careers and also win some exceptional prizes along the way. The NCTJ is a perfect sponsor for Shine and we are delighted to have their support. Their involvement underpins everything we hope to achieve."