Press Pad is a website which links young people wanting to do work experience in the capital with journalists who can offer a spare room. Current interning practices exclude those who cannot come and work in London for free for a couple of weeks ie the vast majority of the populations, if we are to improve the numbers of bright journalists from poorer backgrounds and from the regions in our newsrooms, ideas like Press Pad are a crucial part of the mix.
Far Nearer combines data journalism and local female journalists to fill a gap left by the retreating tide of local newspapers in covering local council meetings and decisions. The democratic deficit engendered by the closure of local papers and the shedding of local journalists is real and earnest, the judges believe Sheffield’s project – the first of which shows that 12000 buildings and public spaces have been disposed of by local authorities since 2014, has the capacity to turn some of that around.
An unfortunate result of the contraction of the journalistic industry is the number of former staffers now seeking work as freelancers, particularly in the digital realm as online news websites such as Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post and Vice shed jobs. Anna is a former Vice News Editor who was made redundant and has since become a successful freelancer – she decided to share her leanings and her journey with others in the same position with her website FJ&Co, an important resource for people who unavoidably find themselves in the same position.
Zinah Nur Sharif
Women in Journalism believes passionately that the media needs to be a reflective mirror to society, not a distorting lens – we can only truly reflect the society we serve if our newspapers are properly diverse – that is one of the reasons why we have shortlisted the brilliant online magazine The Zirkus by Zinah Nur Sharif which projects the voices of muslim women in our communities and tells the kinds of stories too rarely heard in the main stream media. They tackle taboos, endeavour to reform culture, traditions and family expectations and the writing is lively and evocative.