Staffordshire University’s Future Journalist Awards returns for 2022

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An annual competition which aims to discover the next generation of journalists has launched at Staffordshire University.

The Future Journalist Awards, which is organised by third-year Sports Journalism students, is open to young people aged seven to 18. The competition was previously aimed at budding journalists from Staffordshire and the surrounding counties but was opened up to national and international entrants during the last awards.

To enter, applicants need to write an article, review, or blog, or create a short video or audio clip.

The launch event was held in the journalism department’s newsroom and was attended by teachers from schools across Staffordshire. The information event was also streamed via the Awards’ YouTube channel.

Ian Whittell, course leader for Sports Journalism at Staffordshire University, said: “The aim of the competition is to inspire young people to consider a career in journalism.

“I really enjoy being involved in the awards as I get to see the enthusiasm that these young people have for topics that interest them. The quality is always outstanding.

“Passion really shines through in some of the entries, especially on emotive subjects like mental health or the environment, we have seen some really powerful work in previous years’ competitions.”

In March last year, the Awards ceremony was held online for the first time in line with Covid-19 restrictions. Despite the competition being ran entirely remotely, the University had over 200 entries, including submissions from across the UK and international entries from Portugal and Dubai.

“The fact that we had entries from overseas was fantastic,” continued Whittell.

“It was exciting to see the competition expand and to inspire even more people to consider studying journalism at Staffordshire University.

“For the 2022 Future Journalist Awards we are hoping to be able to invite our finalists to attend a special awards ceremony at the University in March. It will also be streamed online, which means that any national or international finalists who can’t attend can still participate.

“Because of Covid, young people are much more familiar with remote learning and the technology that goes with it. We’re hoping that some will decide to use these news skills to create video or audio pieces for the competition.”

Jess Robertson, assistant principal at John Wheeldon Primary Academy in Stafford, attended the launch. She added: “Our school has been involved in the awards for quite a few years and we have jumped at the chance to be involved again.

“Sometimes primary school writing can be quite prescriptive. This competition gives our children a purpose for their writing and allows them to choose a topic they are passionate about.

“We have had several winners and runners-up in the past and the awards ceremony is always an exciting event for the children and their parents and teachers.”

Deadline for the competition is March 4 and full details on how to enter can be found on the competition website:

All finalists from each of the five age categories will be invited to a special award ceremony to take place in March.

There will be three winners per category: best written content, best video, and best audio. Each will win a £50 Amazon voucher, have their work published on the StaffsLive website, and be invited to attend a Newsday Experience at the University.

Press enquiries: Please contact the Future Journalist Awards team via email on

Staffordshire University is a Civic University which plays a leading role in improving the regional economy and enhancing quality of life in local communities. We pride ourselves on being connected to the needs of students, academic partners, business and society.

We ranked 6th for social inclusion in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 and were in the top 15 for Student Satisfaction in the Complete University Guide 2022.

Our main city campus in Stoke-on-Trent features excellent learning and teaching facilities and good transport links. We have a Centre for Health Innovation in Stafford and our Staffordshire University London campus is committed to preparing students for careers in new and emerging tech industries.