Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Outstanding journalism heralds’ new awards scheme

Following last year’s AGM over sixty members and guests joined broadcaster and journalist Nick Ferrari to celebrate the outstanding work of member Tanya Fowles.

The inaugural award was given in recognition of her outstanding work in fighting unjustifiable anonymity orders in the courts of Northern Ireland, making a stand for open justice and highlighting the need for professional journalism.

Gerald Bowley

Presenting the award on behalf of the Institute Ferrari commented that “Tanya brings intelligence, precision and an outstanding cogency to her arguments, combined with the experience of a dedicated professional journalist to the courtrooms and judges she challenges.” He added that “her campaigns and representations exponentially highlight the importance of professional journalism in upholding the highest standards, which is needed, even more, as we respond to the continuing challenges of digital platforms and AI.”

Soft launch of Young Journalist Awards Scheme  

In the context of Tanya’s award for outstanding journalism I was able to briefly outline a new CIoJ initiative: the Young Journalist of the Year Award Scheme. This year we will be putting out a Call for Entries for a range of awards targeted at young journalists, working full time or on a freelance basis, in print, online or in broadcast.

Initial categories will include business/financial journalist, campaigning journalist, political correspondent, environmental journalist, sports journalist, arts journalist, news reporter and feature writer of the year.

Why now. Former President Tim Crook, through his hard work as PPB chairman, identified the outstanding work of Tanya Fowles. We wanted to use this as a beacon of journalistic achievement from which to launch this new awards scheme.

Dom Cooper invited Caroline Roddis and myself to set-up a working group to look at ways in which we could achieve this aim. We identified several key issues that needed to be addressed with recommendations going to Council for approval. Perhaps I could best summarise them as follows:

  • The Institute has an outstanding record for innovation and membership care
  • The core membership benefits will remain at the heart of the Institute
  • Like many institutions we need to reform and encapsulate our treasured concepts
  • We need to engage with younger journalists in a way that they can relate to and engage with
  • The Institute needs partners to assist us with this task

As part of my term as President I will be inviting members and others, from outside the membership, to join me on working groups to look at all aspects of how we engage with young journalists and how the Young Journalist of the Year Awards Scheme can be harnessed to meet the future needs of young journalists joining the Institute.

The initial working group has already identified suitable partners and made recommendations to the Council; these were touched upon at the AGM. This process will continue through the first quarter of 2024. Working groups will report direct to Council and, once the group has completed their task, the group will ‘stand down’.

During this period growth will not happen by magic. Instead, there will need to be considered changes, perhaps to things that we have known and appreciated for years.

One thing the initial working group has become aware of is that discussing change can lead to initiatives that attract new people. But the greatest challenge of all has been realising that we need to change our attitudes to some of the things we do, particularly when engaging with young people.

Through the Journal and regular membership updates we will keep you, the valued member, advised of the outcomes from working groups and how we plan to take the Institute forward together.

Please feedback any thoughts that you may have on the launch of the awards scheme, or any other aspect of the work of the Institute either to Dom or direct to me at ghlbowey@aol.com

I look forward to meeting you at future events.

Gerald Bowey