For the third year running, the NCTJ has 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.
Launched in 2011, 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.
In addition to assisting with the final round of judging, the NCTJ provided three prizes to the winners of the Best Photograph, Best Feature Article and Best Overall Content categories.
The winning students have each been given the opportunity to choose a study unit from the NCTJ Certificate in Foundation Journalism as their prize.
Mo Shafeeq, of Prior Park School, won the Best Photograph award for his work entitled ‘Bethan’, published in the school’s Park Life newspaper.
The Best Feature Article award was presented to George Thornicroft from Altrincham Grammar School for Boys for his piece ‘Transgender and Proud’ in their online magazine ‘The Word’.
Finally, the Best Overall Content award was presented to Ruth Came, editor of Seven Stripes magazine at Colyton Grammar School.
Emma Robinson, accreditation manager at the NCTJ, was involved in judging the best feature article. She said: “The calibre and creativity of the feature articles I read were outstanding and it certainly made judging the category very difficult.
“Overall, George’s article ‘Transgender and Proud’ impressed me the most. It was a brave, worthwhile and honest piece of journalism. Well done to George.
“Being involved in the Shine awards was a great day and the enthusiasm from the students was fantastic to see. I wish them every success in the future.”
Annie Hotton, chair of Shine, said: “There has been a buzz in the air this year. What never fails to amaze me is the enthusiasm and commitment from schools coming from all over the country and the level of ability and creativity from some of these schools and students – it is just extraordinary.
“It has been my privilege to chair the Shine awards for the last three years. I have seen it grow from strength to strength.
“In particular, I would like to thank our sponsors, who have made this competition possible.”