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PTC calls for entries to New Journalist of the Year Awards 2009

July 9th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Training

The PTC New Journalist of the Year Awards 2009 will open for entry on July 22.

Now in their 26th year, the awards recognise emerging talent in the industry

Last year’s awards saw a double win for Caterer and Hotelkeeper’s Tom Vaughan and multiple prizes for CMP Information.

This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony at Vinopolis on London’s South Bank on Friday November 20.

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PTC New Journalist Awards 2008: And the winners are…

November 14th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Training

Reed Business Information’s (RBI) Tom Vaughan was a double winner at today’s Periodical Training Council’s (PTC) New Journalist of the Year awards.

Vaughan, who writes for Caterer and Hotelkeeper, picked up the overall award and new business features journalist too. Unfortunately (or fortunately for him) he was in absent – busy holidaying in Switzerland – and had the awards collected on his behalf.

The awards, which focus on new or young journalists in the UK magazine industry, also saw prizes for Jheni Osman, editor of Focus from BBC Magazines, who was named new editor of the year.

Full list of the winners:

Overall winner - Tom Vaughan, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, RBI

New editor of the year – Jheni Osman, Focus, BBC Magazine; (highly commended) Lucy Scott, Property Week, CMP Information

New section editor of the year – Emma Dent, Health Service Journal, EMAP Inform; (highly commended) Tom Bill, Building, CMP Information

New consumer journalist of the year – Josh Woodfin, FHM, Bauer Media; (highly commended) Jo Adnitt, Look, IPC Media

New consumer specialist/customer magazine journalist of the year - Ben Brain, Photoplus, Future Publishing

New magazine designer of the year - Tina Smith, Property Week, CMP Information; (highly commended) Luke O’Neill, Computer Arts, Future Publishing

New business journalist of the year – Crispin Dowler, Inside Housing, Ocean Media Group; (highly commended) Victoria Gill, Chemistry World, Royal Society of Chemistry

New business features journalist of the year – Tom Vaughan, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, RBI; (highly commended) Lydia Stockdale, Property Week, CMP Information

Most promising student journalist of the year: Audrey Ward, MA magazine journalism, City University; (highly commended) Alix O’Neill, MA magazine, Goldsmiths

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Online Journalism China: shortcomings in the earthquake relief effort going unnoticed in the scramble to present a front of national unity

May 16th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Newspapers

As the catastrophe and media blackout in Burma continues, coverage of the Wenchuan quake in China has taken centre stage.

While pictures and information on Burma are scarce, the international media has been given a free hand on the ground in Sichuan province, perhaps as natural disasters offer an unrivalled opportunity for the government to show itself in action.

Western media has produced some moving accounts of the tragedy as well as some more critical pieces on how the government has handled the rescue effort.

In the Guardian, Naomi Klein reports disgruntled parents lamenting the collapse of their children’s schools, and Tania Branigan quotes claims of corruption and misuse of funds.

Unsurprisingly, coverage here has primarily been on the rescue effort, the suffering and on Wen Jiabao and Hu Jintao’s visits to quake-hit areas.

Domestic media has focused on the Party’s action plan and prominently featured press briefings detailing the government’s response, as well as making full use of photo opportunities for Party leaders.

Wen seems to have become the human face of the Party’s disaster relief efforts. He is visible in the same way that he was during the winter snow disaster; where he personally visited the gridlocked Guangzhou train station to address stranded spring festival travellers.

Thursday’s China Daily featured a picture of him holding two forlorn looking girls by the shoulder and quoted him as saying: “I am grandpa Wen Jiabao. You must hold on, child! You will be saved.”

China Daily has focused on the human cost and survivors’ tales, running capped-up front-page headlines “MAGICAL MOMENTS,” and RESCURERS RACE AGAINST TIME”.

Like the snow disaster, a lot of prominence is being given to donors’ generosity and volunteer rescue efforts (including those of foreigners on the ground) as China again attempts to present a united front.

However, the New York Times carries an excellent article asking why the government has accepted aid from Japan, Taiwan and Singapore but rejected offers from others.

Despite the huge mobilization of the army, the troops lack the necessary heavy lifting and drilling equipment to dig for survivors.

Such shortcomings seem to be going unnoticed amongst the scramble to present a front of national unity, and few here are asking why professionals from the West are being told to stay away.

According to China Media Project (CMP), critical coverage of the quake has apparently been banned by an edict discouraged by one of  numerous directives intended to stop the spread of malicious rumours stories that may show the authorities in a bad light.

However stories like this, on the poor structural integrity of the schools that have collapsed, seem to have passed unnoticed.

CMP also runs a translation of another editorial by Southern Metropolis Daily editor Chang Ping. Chang highlights the dubious nature of the law on spreading false rumours in the light of the public’s overwhelming demand for information regarding the quake.

The law has came to the fore after a number of false rumours also surfaced in chatrooms and forums alleging that the authorities had somehow been warned that the quake was coming but suppressed the information, it would have perhaps been easier to dispel some of these myths quickly if the ever present spector of the authroities didn’t loom large and automatically make people suspicious of any news that suggests underhand activity on their part.

It will be interesting to see if the commercial media will begin receiving pressure to avoid critical reporting in the coming days when fewer survivors turn up and locals face the grim task of moving the dead and contemplating rebuilding their towns and homes and lives.

That will be a time for much reflection – and a lot of reflection may lead to some touchy questions.

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