July 2024

Jess Phillips MP leads prize giving at Global Young Journalist Awards Ceremony 2024

The Global Young Journalist Awards

Winning submissions preempted some of the most hotly debated issues in the UK’s current general election campaign focusing on a range of topics including; Technology, Climate, Equality, Politics and Science.

This year we celebrated our third annual Global Young Journalist Awards in an online ceremony that brought young people together from across the world. The awards were made to explore ten unique categories of journalism from Climate to Sport and in two age bands, 7 to 13 and 14 to 18.

The competition was free to enter for young people aged between 7 to 18 from all over the world and encouraged a range of media formats including written articles, photography, illustration, audio, video and graphic design. The winning entries for 2024 can all be viewed here theday.co.uk/special-reports/gyja-2024-winners.

The awards were presented by distinguished leaders in their fields including one of Britain’s leading politicians Jess Phillips MP, BBC Presenter Emma-Louise Amanshia and the Olympic rugby player Heather Fisher. The judges presented the winners at an online ceremony on 27th June.

The closing date for competition entries was the 26th April 2024, long before the announcement of the summer general election. Despite this, entries covered some of the hottest topics in the current General Election campaign debates.

Harrison Wood, 15, from Discovery Academy in Stoke on Trent won in the Politics category (14-18 category) with a written article investigating his school community’s thoughts on Brexit, taxes and the political system generally.

In his entry Harrison reported that: “The responses from this group of year 10 students show that our education system is failing to teach young people about their country and the politics that control it. None could name their constituency, and only 8% could name their local MP. 92% of students want politics to be taught in school, because only 17% understand what the two houses of Parliament do and how they are different to each other. A shocking 92% of students think that the views of young people are not represented in politics. Young people will be living with the consequences of our upcoming general election for the longest, their voice deserves to be heard”.

In response to receiving his award Harrison said: “It is an unimaginable privilege to have won the Global Young Journalist Awards, and since my passion is politics and my article was on the topic of politics it is of course incredible to have my award presented by Jess Phillips, an MP in a constituency not too far away.

“This general election looks to be a historic one, current polls suggest a bigger Labour seat swing than Tony Blair, however, as is sadly the case nowadays, the campaigns have been focused more on being against the other party rather than sharing their parties’ views and policies.”

“Many at my school are unfortunately not interested in politics, however the few that are, are split between supporting Reform UK and Labour. I, personally, have watched the debates and was not overly struck by any party.

“As for my own career, I am trying my best to leave my options open for the future. Some careers I think about are, politician, data analyst, journalist, and economist.”

Jess Phillips MP, who judged Harrison’s entry and presented his award said: “I have to say I was bowled over by the pieces sent to me, for their accuracy, insight and political gumption. Harrison’s account of the political education of teenagers in Stoke on Trent is alarming for me as a politician. To read the levels of engagement and understanding about politics and financial security; things that people like me talk about every day. The surveys done at Harrison’s school show very little engagement and a total disconnect between the politics of our nation and our young people.

This is a very important and timely piece of writing, notwithstanding that we are about to have a General Election and some people in this category will be able to vote. Some political parties are pushing for people to be able to vote at 16, but still the number of young people that vote turns our politics of the future into something that is skewed very much towards people over the age of 50, and that is entirely because of the lack of political engagement.

Policy is made on the basis of who votes, so it couldn’t be more important to get across this message and what I would suggest is a very clear call to action in any writing that is in mediums that young people will engage with.”

Adam Ravenscroft,18, from Calday Grange Grammar School in Birkenhead who won the Climate category (14-18 category) for his video report on sewage spills into the UK’s waterways said : “I am absolutely thrilled to have won the award. I’m glad that my work has come to the attention of the judges, and that the message will be heard by a wider audience. So far, the general election campaign has felt very dry of policy to do with climate. The importance of climate is only emphasised by the fact that the next government will lead us up to some major goals due for 2030, which I believe we can’t afford to violate.

“On the topic of Sewage dumping in the UK, discussion seems to have died down. However, the summer holidays are dead ahead, and with it, people’s urge to swim. The increased warmth could also help pathogens spread in the water, and so on. I feel the incoming government needs to ease the problem immediately.”

The winner of the Equality Category (7-13 category) was Ayaan Alam Samad, 12, from King’s College School in Wimbledon. Ayaan’s winning piece was a video report from a Girls School in Bangladesh, where he interviewed some of the students, giving them a platform to share their thoughts and helping their voices to be heard. Ayaan said: “I would like to thank the judges, my parents, the school and mostly The Day for giving me the opportunity to bring this wonderful girl’s school in Pabna to the attention of a wider audience. Education is the key to success in the modern world, and I have seen first hand how education has opened the eyes and minds of underprivileged girls in the wider world, giving them the hope that they can play an important role in the development of their community and their country.”

The editor and founder of The Day, Richard Addis, said: “Today is the best of all times to become a young journalist. Twenty years ago technology set us all free and suddenly everyone could join in. Now that social media has corrupted the public space and destroyed so much serious debate, the pendulum is swinging rapidly back to a professional class of skilled and trained communicators that have standards and earn trust. I see a great renaissance of journalism in the next 20 years.

“These awards offer a real chance for young people to test their journalistic vocation and make their own contribution to the global conversation. It can be a huge boost to confidence to know that you have succeeded in making an entry to a formal competition. That alone is a big step. To have that work recognised by a leading name in the field is another giant stride.

“Winning these awards really could change your life!”