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3 June, 2005

Tomorrows political journalists recognised with national prize

The National Political Journalism Competition today announces its winners. Organised by the Citizenship Foundation and sponsored by Norwich Union, the competition invites young people, aged 11 -18, to experience first-hand the relationship between politics and the media by tackling a political issue of their choice in print, TV or radio.

A panel chaired by Michael Brunson (ex-political editor of ITN and Citizenship Foundation Trustee) and including journalists from the Today Programme, The Mirror Group, Newsnight and CBBC Newsround, judged the finalists’ entries.

The winners were:

Best Political Broadcast Journalists: Neil Fenwick, Tom Stringer & Robert Peck, from Darrick Wood Secondary School, Orpington. The team of 12-13 year olds tackled the local issue of the development of a new Tesco superstore in Orpington. Filmed as though part of a local news programme, they interviewed residents’ pressure groups, their MP and managers of the development. The final piece was very well presented, and demonstrated an excellent understanding of how local news is put together.

Best Political Newspaper Journalists: Claire McWethy, Hayley Pothecary & Thomas Etheridge, Robert May’s School, Hampshire. The students chose to discuss the controversial plans to build new homes on a local green-field site, questioning several local councillors, a campaign group and local businessmen, ensuring that their article was an excellent piece of impartial, investigative journalism.

The interest in local issues amongst these year’s entrants, backed up recent research conducted by the Citizenship Foundation showing that local and international issues were of most importance to young people, as opposed to national issues and politics on a Westminster level.

The winners will receive their awards at a reception at the House of Lords on 7 July, and they are also being invited to have tea at Downing Street.

Further information

To find out more please email:

Notes for editors:

1. Copies of winning entries available upon request. See the newspaper article online at http://www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/main/page.php?248

2. The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no. 801360) which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, we focus particularly on developing young people’s citizenship skills, knowledge and understanding.


Our work includes:

• A comprehensive range of citizenship resources for a wide audience from teachers to young offenders.

• Nationwide and international training programmes.

• National active learning projects for secondary schools.

• Community projects to develop citizenship education as a collective responsibility.

• Research to advance our understanding of best practice in citizenship education.

2. Sponsorship of the National Political Journalism Competition is part of Norwich Union’s responsible citizenship programme, which seeks to encourage individuals, business and Government not only to explore their rights but to take responsibility for their actions (www.aviva.com).

3. Launched at Downing Street in June 2003, the National Political Journalism Competition is open to 11-18 year olds across the UK, working in teams or as individuals. The competition runs alongside the National Youth Parliament Competition, which will also award its prizewinners at the House of Lords reception on 7 July.

4. The judging panel consisted of: Michael Brunson (Former political editor of ITN - Citizenship Foundation Trustee)

• David Seymour (Political Editor, Mirror Group)

• Iain Watson (Political Correspondent, Today Programme)

• Carla Pickering (Newsround)

• Michael Crick (Political Correspondent, BBC Newsnight)

• Tony Breslin (CEO Citizenship Foundation)

5. The National Political Journalism Competition supports the statutory Citizenship curriculum for 11-16 year olds in England.

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