Two journalism graduates were Highly Commended in the Yorkshire’s Evening Post’s Prize for Local Digital Journalism, with one student crowned the winner after impressing Yorkshire Evening Post journalists with their hyperlocal news sites.
Now in its third year, the Local Digital Journalism prize was set up by Leeds Trinity University lecturer Rebecca Whittington and former Yorkshire Evening Post editor Hannah Thaxter, to increase engagement in local news and encourage students to network and learn from industry professionals at the newspaper.
Final year students taking a digital media module, which required participants to create websites for niche online audiences, were eligible to be shortlisted for the prize if they produced web content with a Leeds-area focus. Kamile Banyte and Ed McIntyre were among five students shortlisted for the prize by University lecturers.
21-year-old Ed, from Leeds, who graduated with a degree in Sports Journalism, created a data management platform called All Things Leeds which he set up for Leeds United FC fans and features videos, blogs and a podcast about the club. He was crowned the overall winner in recognition of his interesting and relevant content, engagement with the local community, and use of social media.
Ed said: "When I found out I had won this prize it was amazing, and it showed me that hard work really does pay off. It feels good to be recognised and receive positive feedback for something you’ve worked so hard on. The prize is also great, I can’t wait to do remote work experience at the Yorkshire Evening Post (YEP).
"Due to the impact Coronavirus has had on job opportunities, it’s kind of hindered what my future plans are. I’m currently doing as much work as I can in the journalism industry, both voluntary and paid, and I’m going to work hard during my placement at the YEP and hopefully something comes from that."
Broadcast Journalism graduate Kamile Banyte, 23, from Dewsbury, was runner-up for her website Morley Times, an online news platform designed to engage audiences in locally sourced content.
Kamile said: “I'm so pleased and proud of myself to be named runner-up. Now that I'm applying for graduate jobs, I'm finding myself naming Morley Times as one of my best projects at University, and it truly helped me to advance all the skills needed in the media industry. I've thoroughly enjoyed designing the website and stalking Facebook community groups to source fresh local stories. Apart from graduating with a First-Class Honours, it is my proudest accomplishment so far.”
The prize was judged based on local relevance, interesting content, engagement hooks and aesthetic. Ed will now complete a week’s remote work experience with the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Alex Evans, Head of Live and Trending for Yorkshire Post Newspapers, said: “Ed's submission showed a lot of creativity and hard graft. He put together the most content rich website of the lot, populated with well sourced, smartly edited video and podcast content in a neatly designed site with a good user interface. The site is engaging and highly relevant to our local audience and it also makes good use of social media, integrating a YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”
Leeds Trinity University’s Centre for Journalism has an established reputation for outstanding vocational training, industry-relevant studies and excellent professional work placements at organisations such as BBC, Sky, and The Sunday Times.
Find out more about undergraduate degree programmes in Journalism.
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Leeds Trinity University's Senior Corporate Communications Officer, Lucy Chaplin, is the first point of contact for local, national and international media.