Staffordshire University students launch search for future journalists

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Staffordshire University students have launched the Staffs Future Journalist competition 2017 to discover the next generation of talented young journalists.

The competition is open to school children aged 7-18 across Staffordshire, Cheshire and the West Midlands who can write up a review, opinion piece or interview to stand a chance of winning.

Jackie Gregory, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, will be helping with the search alongside Level 6 PR and Journalism students.

“We are trying to find young journalists of the future and we are going into schools for students who might seriously be considering a career in journalism,” she said.

“We know that there’s lot of great talent in Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas, and we want to keep finding out who the new writers are and inviting them to Staffordshire University.”

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Competition organisers (from left) Jackie Gregory, Frank Murphy, Sinead Ballester, Sam Davies and Tom Gallagher

Sports PR and Journalism student Tom Gallagher is a part of the student-run team of 12 and is liaising with students at surrounding schools.

He thinks this is the best way to encourage young writing talent to get involved.

“It will massively impact the students, because we are getting to the heart of the entries.

“You realise that you’re passing on stuff you’ve learnt from university, simple things like how to write instructions and conduct interviews, and you can see them learning as they’re writing it down.

“The main thing we want to get across to people is that journalism isn’t just one thing – you’ve got music, games, film, sport – anything.”

The competition is sponsored by the university’s student run website StaffsLive where the best entries will be selected by a panel of media industry professionals and some of the universities top lecturers.

The awards ceremony will take place on March 17 at Staffordshire University and a celebrity guest will  attend.

Winners will be presented with prizes and a chance to spend a day in the university’s broadcast newsroom, as well as receive their own tailor-made journalism kits.

Jackie added: “I think winners of the competition just get such a buzz, I’ve seen it in their faces, the excitement that their work has been recognised.

“There’s a great sense of pride when it all comes together.”

The competition entries close on January 27, 2017.

For more information about the competition, or to submit entries, visit http://blogs.staffs.ac.uk/futurejournalist/ or https://www.facebook.com/StaffsFutureJournalist/

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