Record-breaking shortlist for Sheffield in 2016 NCTJ awards

NCTJ winners celebrate their awards

Nominees for the 2016 Awards for Excellence given by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) include seven students and graduates of the Department of Journalism Studies – a figure believed to be a new record.

Sheffield journalists have traditionally figured strongly in the NCTJ awards – one of the most prestigious honours in the media industry – with six included in the 2015 shortlist. But the total for 2016 is thought to be the highest the department has ever achieved in the NCTJ awards.

Among this year's nominees is Kate McGreavy, who completed her BA in Journalism Studies in June 2016 and is now working as a production journalist with the Press Association.

Kate said: "I am delighted to be on the shortlist. I thoroughly enjoyed producing my multimedia feature on futsal, as it is something I am passionate about, and for it to be recognised by the NCTJ is amazing.

"I put in a lot of time and effort into the feature and it's nice that the hard work has paid off. I owe a big thank you to the University of Sheffield journalism department for their support, feedback and guidance."

Kate is nominated in the multimedia story/campaign of the year category, along with Abi McDonald, who is currently completing her MA in Print Journalism.

“Incredible teaching”

Sheffield journalists are also in contention for prizes in the category of student news journalism. The nominees here are Sophie Richards and Alex Grove, who both completed their BA studies in 2016.

Sophie, who is about to begin a job as a reporter with Cavendish Press in Manchester, is nominated for her investigative work on 'property guardianship' – a largely unknown type of housing where occupiers effectively sign over their rights in exchange for affordable housing.

She said: "I couldn't believe it when I discovered I had been shortlisted. For me, the NCTJ course has been both challenging and rewarding so to be recognised for the hard work and determination is such a great achievement. I am so grateful to Lisa Bradley and Mark Hanna especially, whose extensive knowledge of media law helped me indefinitely during my portfolio.

Alex Grove"I'm also so proud to see so many of my fellow students receive nominations. I think it really highlights the incredible teaching that goes into this course and how we've been nurtured by industry experts to become top-quality journalists."

Alex is one of two Sheffield graduates whose nominated work tackled the challenging subject matter of the sex industry. He said: "I was shocked when I made the shortlist as I knew that so many university students would be entering the same category as me.

"I thoroughly enjoyed getting stuck into my print portfolio, which was on the theme of prostitution and the vice trade, so this was just the cherry on top.

"I was able to interview a street prostitute in Holbeck, air the views of horrified residents living in what is effectively a red-light district, and talk to campaigners both for and against prostitution.

"I must mention Lisa Bradley, who guided me through the process and encouraged me to put myself forward for the shortlist. I couldn't have done it without her!

"Also it's great to see so many Sheffield students make the shortlist. I think that just proves that our university really is the best when it comes to producing journalists!"

Student features of the year

Two journalists who learned their trade at Sheffield and now work in Wales are in the running for honours in the student features of the year shortlist. Estel Farell Roig joined the South Wales Argus after completing her BA in 2016, while Gareth Evans is awaiting his results for his MA in Print Journalism and is now a trainee with BBC News.

Estel said: "I'm really excited about being shortlisted for the awards. When I first saw it, I couldn't believe it. Now, I feel proud of my work – my feature on sex work in the UK has to be one of the most difficult but rewarding pieces I've ever written.

During their time with us we could already see real talent in the making – so it's great to see their careers in the media get off to a flying start

Professor Marie Kinsey
Joint head, Department of Journalism Studies

"I'd like to thank everyone who made it possible, especially my supervisor Lisa [Bradley] and the sex workers I interviewed for the feature. I became a journalist to listen to stories like theirs."

Hull Daily Mail reporter Ben Blosse, who took the Sheffield Print Journalism MA in 2013–14, is in the running for an NCTJ prize in trainee news journalism.

Professor Marie Kinsey, joint head of the Department of Journalism Studies, said: "I'm delighted for all the Sheffield journalists involved in this record-breaking shortlist. There's a real sense of pride around the department at what they've achieved.

"During their time with us we could already see real talent in the making – so it's great to see their careers in the media get off to a flying start. We wish them the very best of luck at the awards ceremony."

The winners will be announced on 24 November at a gala dinner and ceremony at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire.