CfJ student scoops national Amnesty Media Award!

Kent Journalism BA student Kenneth Sanchez wins Amnesty's 'Student Journalist' category

A final-year digital storytelling project by Kent Journalism BA student Kenneth Sanchez has scooped a prestigious Amnesty Media Award.

The winners of Amnesty International UK’s prestigious Amnesty Media Awards 2020 were announced last night in an online ceremony, delayed from March. Kenneth won the ‘Student Journalist’ category for his project ‘Escaping the Chaos; Venezuelans in Peru’.

The judges – high-profile UK journalists and representatives from Amnesty – said: ‘…we felt this ambitious, multi-media project really showcased Kenneth’s talents as a writer, reporter and photojournalist. And most importantly, demonstrated his ability to win the trust of his interviewees. Huge congratulations to Kenneth.’

The awards, now in its 28th year, feature some of the biggest names in journalism.

Ian Reeves, Head of The Centre for Journalism (CfJ) at Kent said Kenneth’s project is superb: ‘It details the struggles of the vast number of Venezuelan refugees trying to start new lives in Peru. Brilliantly researched and sourced, with a huge array of compelling stories. It provides a real insight into how the Venezuelan crisis has affected a range of ordinary people’s live, while also giving users a great deal of agency in how they explore it. Different storytelling techniques are used very effectively, especially maps which chart both the general exodus to Peru and the individual journeys of the people involved.’

Earlier this year, Kenneth’s project won ‘Best education story’ in the 2019 Shorthand Awards. Shorthand is a visual storytelling platform used by international brands to create engaging, multimedia stories online. Judges comments included:

  • “Original reporting and full width images are the strengths of this piece. It is a complex structure but fairly easy to navigate. The producer has really tried to exploit what the platform offers in terms of interactive storytelling.” Dr Skye Doherty, Lecturer & director of engagement, School of Communication & Arts, The University of Queensland
  • “This is a powerful story on an evocative subject, told smartly in various media — impressively so. The narrative arc of the story is strong, and the whole piece hangs together nicely. I’m particularly keen on the way the individual stories are told.” Chris Stokel-Walker, freelance journalist & author
  • “The story of Venezuela is one often forgotten about in the news. Many reporters have found it hard to report from the country and what is a dire situation for many within. This Shorthand story stood out for me — it told the story of one of the largest migrations in modern history in a part of the world where you wouldn’t necessarily expect it. The use of the maps and pictures in part two particularly stood out. It’s a strong storytelling method that really tells you the scale of the Venezuelan journey to safer pastures.” Ravin Sampat, head of storytelling, Tortoise Media

Since graduating from CfJ this summer, Kenneth has begun an MSc in Latin American Politics at University College London.

The three-year Journalism BA course at CfJ is designed to help students tell powerful stories and gain crucial industry experience. Students study for an honours degree while simultaneously preparing for the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Diploma in Journalism. As part of the programme, students have the option to complete a long-form investigative journalism project, a dissertation, or a 30-minute television show.