RightsInfo has launched two new student awards for the ‘Best Human Rights Story’ and ‘Best Human Rights Journalist’ as part of the Student Publication Association (SPA) awards.
The awards will provide national recognition for budding student journalists covering human rights at a local level across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
“We know that there is a lot of really good on the ground reporting around human rights at a student level, and we want these awards to be a chance for this to be recognised on a national stage,” said Jem Collins, the Strategic Impact Director at RightsInfo, and a Trustee for the SPA.
To apply to the ‘Best Human Rights Journalist’ award, hopefuls must submit up to three pieces with a 300-word statement. To apply to the ‘Best Human Rights Story’, an individual news or feature story on human rights must be submitted.
‘A Flair For Storytelling’
“We’ll be looking for a flair for storytelling, and people who can really get behind a story, as well as engage others in human rights issues,” Collins explained.
An independent panel of experts will review the submissions and shortlisted nominees will be announced before the awards.
We want these awards to be a chance for this to be recognised on a national stage.
SPA, which offers training, support and recognition to student journalists, is “delighted” by the partnership with RightsInfo, and believes it will put a spotlight the next generation of human rights journalists.
“Human rights journalism is becoming more and more important as the attack on people’s rights and freedoms of the press continues,” said Conor Matchett, Chair of The Student Publications Association.
“The ability of student journalists to cover and report on it is gaining importance and we are delighted to provide a more focused celebration of the work human rights journalists are doing at a student level,” he added.
‘We Want To Share What We’ve Learned’
Sarah Wishart, the Creative Director of RightsInfo, added that RightsInfo is “looking forward to seeing” the stories that student publications have been working on.
“Since the Human Rights Act came into force in 2000, there has been almost no public education on human rights, combined with the fact that we see that so much human rights reporting in the UK was negative,” Wishart said, adding that RightsInfo launched in 2016 to counter that negative reporting.
“After nearly three years of writing objective and engaging human rights stories, we want to share the things we’ve learned with the next generation of journalists setting the news agenda,” Wishart continued.
It is free for all students to apply to the awards, which will be held in York in April this year. Applications close on Thursday, March 7.