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3 May, 2006

Political Journalism Winners announced

Jamie Stern-Weiner (16) from Hounslow and Jack Farrell (15), Ronan Hollywood (16), Oisin Kearney (15) and Niall Donnolly (16) from St Colmanís College, Newry have been announced winners of the Citizenship Foundationís National Political Journalism Competition.

Political Journalism Competition entry by Jamie Stern-Weiner

Jamie won the category of Best Newspaper Piece, while the team from St Colmanís won the Best Broadcast Piece.

Jamieís winning entry was a Newspaper article investigating the media coverage of the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. The Newry teamís winning report was a five minute broadcast piece on tuition fees, investigating the effects it could have on students and Further Education in the UK.

Runners up were Charlotte Kelly (14) from Yorkshire who examined the Leeds super tram project in her newspaper entry, and Carla Barron (13), Christos Gatisos (13), Frazer Lamb (14) and Holly Matthews (13) from the Stanway School and Humanities College in Colchester who entered a broadcast piece on teenage binge drinking.

All winners undertook a great deal of research and conducted interviews with a range of people, including Charles Clarke, Tessa Jowell, representatives from the Department of Employment & Learning, as well as top newspaper and TV journalists.

Over 500 teams from around the UK entered the competition and the finalists were judged by media professionals from print and broadcast journalism. The judges, including Iain Watson from the Today programme, Carla Pickering from Newsround, David Seymour, former Political Editor for the Mirror Group and Michael Brunson, former political editor for ITN all agreed that the standard this year was very high.

Participating young people showed a wide ranging understanding of political issues and ways these could be reported in the media. Topics covered ranged from local community issues, such as the effects of the demolition of a local church, regional concerns such as the proposed increase of Forth Bridge tolls, to national issues and legislation e.g. binge drinking and licensing laws, and a piece evaluation the success of the Make Poverty History Campaign covered International issues.

The winners will get to attend the prizewinnersí reception at the Houses of Parliament in July, where awards will be given out by Leading political journalists, MPs, Ministers and Party Leaders followed by tea at 10 Downing Street.

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