Journalists who entered the newsroom without going to university are to be recognised with a new category at the 2023 MHP Group 30ToWatch Journalism awards.
The new Breakthrough Award is open to journalists aged 30 and younger who may have entered the sector through an apprenticeship, a trainee scheme or through sheer determination.
The 30 To Watch awards are free to enter and in the last 12 years they’ve recognised new talent including Marianna Spring at the BBC, Nathan Lee at ITV News and Katie Morley at the Telegraph.
The deadline for entries is midnight 31 March, 2023.
MHP Group has worked in partnership with News UK to develop the award that recognises the work many news organisations are doing to increase diversity in their newsrooms.
It follows the keynote speech at last year’s award ceremony by John Ryley, the Head of Sky News.
He said: “Our newsrooms do not reflect the society on which they report. Our newsrooms tend to be too white, too middle class, and just too similar.”
The award is open to young journalists who enter any of the ten categories for 30 To Watch News & Investigations, City, Politics, Production (TV, radio, Podcasts) and Consumer Affairs.
Those who enter simply tick a box to say if they went to university before entering journalism.
John Ryley will lead a panel of 20 senior journalists and editors who will judge the awards.
Anne Alexander is Head of Politics at ITV Good Morning Britain and a 30ToWatch judge.
She said: “I’m delighted the Breakthrough Award has been added to the list of categories this year.
“It is so important that journalism is open to all, and we must recognise and encourage the range of routes into the profession which do not necessarily involve having a degree.
“There is so much untapped talent out there, and there has never been a more important time for us all to ensure journalism really reflects the society we serve.
John Stevens won a 30ToWatch award in 2016 when he was a young reporter at the Daily Mail. He is now Political Editor at the Daily Mirror and a 30ToWatch judge.
He said: “The 30ToWatch awards are a great way to recognise young and talented journalists who are already having a big impact and helping to reshape our industry.
“I’m particularly excited about the new Breakthrough award because it’s important to attract diverse talent into our newsrooms.”
Anthony France, Senior News Correspondent at the Evening Standard said: “I’m delighted to be judging the new MHP Breakthrough Award.
“There are so many routes into journalism, including through local papers like I did, and it’s important that we celebrate the best talent from all backgrounds”
To enter 30 To Watch click here