Journalism students and graduates honoured in new awards shortlist

Three CfJ former students shortlisted for prestigious awards from the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ)

MA graduate from 2022 Emma Ogao, who now works for ABC news in London, was shortlisted in the ‘Features’ category in the awards, which are for 2022. The other two nominees are former students from the Centre for Journalisms’ (CfJ) ‘Year in Journalism’ programme – Bartholomew Hall and Rut Urios Vidal.

Emma Ogao said: “It’s a huge honour to have been nominated for NCTJ Awards for Excellence amongst such an incredible group of talented young journalists, and I am super thankful to all the fantastic staff at the CfJ, whose lessons and support over the course of my MA Multimedia journalism degree undoubtedly contributed massively to this nomination.

“I have recently started my graduate job at ABC News’ London Bureau as a Digital News Associate. It’s been a dream come true to be able to work alongside the network’s foreign managers, editors, producers and correspondents on international news stories.

“My role involves everything from answering phones, to writing stories for digital, and assisting producers and correspondents on live shoots. It’s been fascinating to become part of the network’s news operation, and am grateful to have been given the chance to build my skills at such a great organisation.”

Bartholomew Hall, who is now in his fourth year, is in contention for the ‘Scoop of the Year’ award, for an investigative report on the cause of a fire in Whitstable. He created the story for the university-affiliated local TV station KMTV, while working there as a paid intern, during and after his training at the CfJ. The story was later picked up by Kent Online, BBC News and ITV Meridian.

Students at the CfJ get the opportunity to apply for internships at KMTV during their studies and benefit from opportunities to work there in front of and behind the camera.

Bartholomew Hall said: “If it wasn’t for everything I learned at the CFJ, from following every lead, keeping in touch with contacts and the value of FoIs [Freedom of Information requests] then this story just wouldn’t have happened.

“A year ago I wouldn’t have even considered myself a journalist and just getting myself stuck in to all the opportunities has been life-changing.”

Fellow Year in Journalism student Rut Urios Vidal, is shortlisted in the NCTJ’s ‘Data Journalism’ category. This was for a project she researched and produced about diversity in Disney films, as part of her university course.

Rut Urios Vidal said: “I feel so honoured and grateful that the NCTJ has nominated me, especially because my data story is about diversity and the lack of it, which is something that means a lot to me.

“The best part about doing the Year in Journalism at the CfJ was that I was able to write about things I’m passionate about whilst improving my writing in various styles of journalism and being taught new software for filming and editing.”

The Centre for Journalism at Kent University has accreditation from the NCTJ for several of its programmes and these lead to university qualifications as well as the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism.

Last year two CfJ graduates each scooped an award at the 2021 NCTJ Awards Ceremony, which had been delayed by Covid.

Laoise Gallagher won the award for best student project for her documentary on the under-diagnosis of autism in women and girls. Her film, called ‘Actually Autistic: Hiding in plain sight’, was made during the pandemic and is available on YouTube. Laoise now works for Pink News.

Also honoured was CfJ alumna Jem Collins, who took the ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’ award. Jem is a digital journalist and is the founding Director and Editor-in-Chief of Journo Resources. She graduated from the CfJ in 2014. The award she was given recognises ‘the outstanding work of individuals, educators and trainers, and employers who promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the media and training sector’.

Laoise Gallagher was also shortlisted for the prize for ‘Community News Project’, a category in which her work was commended. Fellow CfJ alumna Lily Morl was short-listed for ‘Best student project’ for her moving documentary on people who had to wait for transplants during the Covid pandemic.

The winners of the awards for 2022 will be announced at a ceremony in March.