By Georgia Bea Edkins
Women in Journalism’s Georgina Henry Award, generously sponsored by Wiggin LLP, offered the only all-female shortlist at the Press Awards on Tuesday evening.
The award, previously won by Laura Bates of ‘Everyday Sexism’ success, was set up to honour Georgina Henry, who was a founding member of Women in Journalism as well as former deputy editor of the Guardian and head of Guardian.co.uk before her tragic death in February 2014.
The shortlist included:
Amie Ferris-Rotman (Winner)
Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi (Highly Commended)
Winner, Amie Ferris-Rotman hopes to give a voice to female Afghan journalists with her inspirational project, ‘Sahar Speaks’.
With the prize money, ‘Sahar Speaks’ will run a pilot that sees 10 Afghan women undergo one week of gender-specific training in Kabul, followed by pairing with international, experienced correspondents. The project believes that:
“For global audiences, the Afghan woman’s story is being told by Afghan men, foreign men and foreign women. As the situation for women in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, the urgency of realising Sahar Speaks is greater than ever. It takes effort to recruit, train and encourage Afghan female journalists. It requires intentional investment. That is where Sahar Speaks steps in.”
The British-American journalist, Ferris-Rotman, was over the moon with her win;
“The award means the world to me, and to the female journalists who’ve already gone through training in Kabul. It is a huge and well-deserved confidence boost for the Sahar Speaks participants. I can’t wait to start building the online community to expand this work.”
Highly Commended, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi will receive £1000 to help extend her “The Stories We Tell Ourselves” podcast, which discusses the lived experiences of those most affected by key political decisions. She has described the project as “like Question Time, but with real people.”
As Eleanor Mills said in her introductory speech on Tuesday evening, “Georgina would be proud” of all of the applicants, the highly commended and the winner.
Women in Journalism are extremely grateful to Wiggin LLP who have supported the organization from the beginning and continue to fund important projects such as the Georgina Henry Award.
We are also grateful to the six judges, Eleanor Mills, editorial director of the Sunday Times and current chair of WiJ, Eve Pollard, founding chair of WiJ and former editor of the Sunday Express, Jane Martinson, head of media at the Guardian and former chair of WiJ, Alison Gow, editor, digital innovation Trinity Mirror Regionals and a board member of the Society of Editors, Caroline Kean, partner Wiggin LLP and Sue Ryan, former managing editor of the Daily Telegraph and a board member of the Society of Editors, for their time and thoroughness in shortlisting the very best applicants from a pool of extremely high quality entrants.
We look forward to seeing how ‘Sahar Speaks’ and ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’ progress and wish all of those who applied the very best of luck with their projects.