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London Calling! RepComms teams up with London Voices 2017 and the Media Society to judge the best in citizen journalism

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RepComms’ Patrick Barrow was among the judges in a competition to find the best of London’s citizen journalists. Amanda Pavon-Lopez  explains: 

Three student citizen journalists have scooped awards and certificates in the London Voices 2017 competition at a high profile event at the London Reform Club last week. The competition was sponsored by The Media Society and London Learning Consortium, and the awards were presented by President of the Media Society, Richard Peel.

First Prize winner Louisa Naks from Greenwich wrote about the issues and emotions arising among European immigrants, old and young, following the Brexit referendum. She interviewed four diverse individuals about their own hopes, concerns and experiences over the past year, and where they see their future in a post-Brexit Britain. From shock, hope, optimism and support through to isolation, discrimination, sadness and fear, Louisa documents four very personal stories of Londoners living under the shadow of Brexit. Louisa has just completed her first degree at University College London, and will be starting a Master’s in Broadcasting and Journalism at City University of London in September.

Second Prize winner Giulia Bassanese from Haringey interviewed three local independent businesses adversely affected by huge increases in business rates, filming her entry to the competition on an iPhone6. It was her first attempt at making a video, after enrolling in a Digital Journalism course at Goldsmiths University of London.

Third Prize winner Seren Morris from Tower Hamlets wrote and photographed a magazine-style article, interviewing six London students about the vexed issue of trying to earn a living wage for work and internships, and the problems they face surviving economically while needing to take low (or no) paying work relevant to their studies and future work prospects. Seren is currently at Queen Mary, University of London.

All the entries were part of a competition to encourage new talent into journalism, and their entries along with photos and a short profile of each winner can be found on the London Voices website .

Dubbed London Voices, the competition aims to promote emerging journalism talent across the capital and to generate a range of new perspectives and ideas about London. Aspiring citizen journalists submitted articles, videos or photos which debated and challenged the ways people think about their communities. The competition was launched against a background of discussion about the proliferation of ‘fake news’, and is part of an attempt to fight back by encouraging citizens to become part of reporting ‘real’ news about their communities and issues.

The competition was judged by the Media Society judges Patrick Barrow and Barney Jones.

Certificates of Merit were also handed out to:
Joel Kiffin from Haringey – his article considers the pros and cons of social media for democracy
Nikki Mattocks from Croydon – her video entry talked to young people about mental health issues
Martin Dignan from Tower Hamlets – his video entry interviewed local community music figure Astaphan Simon

Sponsor Stephen Jeffery from London Learning Consortium said “The more we can encourage local people to get involved with citizen journalism, the better chance we have of reporting events and issues in a fair and balanced way. As CEO of a London training provider, it’s been great to help emerging journalists learn more about how to get their voices heard.”

Media Society Judge Patrick Barrow said of the competition in general, “It’s been great to hear so many different voices reflecting how much London has changed – and stayed the same. Many of the entries were thoughtful and illuminating accounts of life in the capital from many viewpoints and judging them was a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

The competition also saw Highly Commended certificates for Abbie Richards (Bromley), Ellie Rae Ward (Haringey), Leslie Larcher-Haywood (Croydon), Mohammed Hasan (Brent), Nicolo Gervasi (Islington) and Valerio Esposito (Hackney).

All the winning entries to the competition can be seen on the London Voices competition website .

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