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York Student Wins Amnesty Award

Minster FM News Generic

3:35pm 19th March 2013

A History degree student from the University of York was celebrating a unique double achievement today after two of her articles were longlisted for the National Union of Students (NUS) and Amnesty International’s annual Student Human Rights Reporter Award.

Laura Hughes’ highly-commended articles were two of 10 entries selected from the diverse and exceptional range of student entries from across the UK. Laura, 20, from Woodbridge in Suffolk, will now have her entries put forward for final judging.

The competition is run by NUS and Amnesty International in conjunction with The Observer and is one of the 12 categories in the prestigious Amnesty International Media Awards. If shortlisted, Laura will be invited to attend the annual Media Awards in central London which has an audience of over 400, including the nation’s top media figures, on 11 June.

Laura, who wrote about Syrian caricaturist and activist Ali Ferzat’s and also about Marie Therese Njila Nana, an asylum seeker who has been held at Britain’s Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be nominated. There is so much distrust shrouding journalism as a profession; this nomination serves as a reminder of the positive power it should have.”

Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, added:

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and the quality of entries. It demonstrates that campuses up and down the country still take a keen interest in the world around them.

“Journalism has always played a key part in exposing abuses across the globe. We hope that this award helps inspire the students of today to be the human rights journalists of the future.”

Vicki Baars, NUS Vice-President (Union Development), said:

“It’s a privilege to be involved in judging this award. Student media is where many of the world’s leading journalists got their start and it’s an honour to be involved in recognising the achievements of those students highlighting human rights violations around the world.”

The top prize this year is a fellowship with the US-based Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. The prize involves a $2,000 travel grant to cover an under-reported topic of their choice. Previous fellows have travelled to a wide variety of countries, from Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates to Greece, South Africa, and Argentina.

In addition, the winner of the student award, now in its third year, will get two weeks’ work experience at the Observer.

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