Seven young sports journalists contend for NCTJ award

Seven of the country’s outstanding young journalists have been announced as the finalists in the sport journalism category at this year’s NCTJ Awards for Excellence.

Tim Groves, from Kingston University, Joe Ridge, from News Associates London, Steven Sutcliffe, from Staffordshire University, and Jon Vale, from the University of Brighton, have been nominated for the student award, while Shakila Barabhuiya from the Reading Chronicle and Cambridgeshire Times duo Gavin Taney and Rob Setchell are in the final three of the trainee category.

The NCTJ’s Shevon Houston, who has organised the awards this year, said that all the entrants should be proud of their efforts. “I know all the judges were very impressed with the standards this year. Some of the comments praised individuals’ use of quotes or investigation into unusual stories, but on the whole all the entries were very well written.

“We don’t get as many candidates for sports journalism because it’s a more specialised area of the NCTJ. Typically we get a lot of trainees going for the news journalism award and students entering the features category.

“Hopefully though we can keep building the awards’ profile and make the sport journalism category just as competitive.”

Now in their fourth year, the NCTJ Awards for Excellence recognise good journalism from young journalists in a variety of categories. To enter the student award you must be on an NCTJ accredited course, and to enter the trainee category you must have less than two years’ employment and be registered to take the NCE.

Students and trainees can enter their work for news journalism, sports journalism, top scoop/exclusive, features or images. For the sports journalism award, students had to submit three of their best pieces from the past year, of which at least one should have been a feature/ backgrounder.

The NCTJ Awards for Excellence are rare because they specifically recognise sports journalism. Other student journalism awards, such as The Guardian Student Media Awards and the NUS Student Journalist of the Year, don’t offer a sports journalism category.

The winners of the NCTJ Awards for Excellence will be announced at the Society of Editors’ conference in Egham on November 14.

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