Shortlisted: Iona Bain , Megan Lucero, Dr Frances Ryan & Lizzy Dening
The award 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 death in February 2014.
Iona Bain is founder of the Young Money Blog, the first blog in the UK to offer information and solidarity for young people regarding their personal finances. Bain began blogging in 2011 after seeing her generation bear the brunt of the financial crash, and vowed to demystify a subject so often misunderstood by her peers. As a result, Bain’s independent, non-profit blog attracts tens of thousands of unique visitors each month. Alongside this, she has produced the pioneering book Spare Change which is designed to help millennials understand their finances, conveyed in a simple writing style. Bain’s aspiration for Young Money Blog’s future is to widen the perspectives and voices published on the site to ensure it reflects the financial reality for young people in the UK today.
Survivor Stories is a collection of interviews with survivors of sexual violence and rape told in their own words. The interviews are conducted and compiled into an online resource and blog by Lizzy Dening, freelance journalist and co-Vice Chair for a rape crisis charity. The project aims to redress the balance of the portrayal of survivors by bringing their voices to the fore and diminishing victim-blaming. Interviewees can share their stories as an act of empowerment by reclaiming their own narratives. The website survivorstories.co.uk is a resource in which Dening aims to build up a larger archive of interviews – conducted herself – to show the unique experiences of survivors from different backgrounds dealing with trauma.
Lucero’s work at the Bureau Local aims to make data journalism accessible to newsrooms across the UK, seeing it as a way to enhance the future of local news. In the last three years, she has recruited a people-powered network which tackles important issues from the ground up. The structure of the Bureau Local’s work is key to its success: it aims to make data accessible to everyday people, produce reporting that is reflective of communities across the UK, and make the work useful so people can take action. High-impact projects include #MakeThemCount, a project that counted the number of people who died homeless in the UK – such figures were never recorded before. Lucero aims to grow her current initiative of fundraising for local storytellers to continue producing impactful local investigations and take on new project teams.
Dr Frances Ryan
Dr Frances Ryan’s journalism exposes the lives behind the statistics on disability. Using innovative storytelling, her work seeks to challenge the stereotypes around disability and highlight hidden scandals. As a freelance journalist and a wheelchair user, Dr Ryan works to incorporate personal stories into the heart of her journalism, revealing the pressing social issues affecting those so often shut out of politics and the media. She has already pushed disability into the mainstream agenda, and begun to redefine disability reporting in Britain. Dr Ryan’s reports have been quoted in the House of Commons, and used as source material for the BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours. Her future project aims to continue to expose injustice and elevate the voices of marginalised people, through interviews and sharing individual tales using different mediums.
Eleanor Mills, WIJ chair, said: “Women in Journalism is delighted to be offering the award in the name of one of our founding members, Georgina Henry of the Guardian. Offering a prize for innovation seems a great way to immortalise her memory and give a big break to an enterprising woman journalist.”
Caroline Kean, Partner of Wiggin LLP, said: ‘We have been with WIJ from its beginnings 25 years ago. We are proud to do something that both honours Georgina’s memory and offers opportunities to aspiring journalists – particularly at a time when changes in the industry and threats to press freedom mean that good journalists are more essential than ever.’
Past winners include Laura Bates for Everyday Sexism ,Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff for Gal-Dem magazine, & Jem Collins of Journo Resources and PressPad in 2020.