Winchester journalism graduates shortlisted in national awards

21 Nov 2018

Two BA (Hons) Journalism graduates from the University of Winchester have been shortlisted in the prestigious Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) Student Journalism Awards 2018.

Emily Mee has been shortlisted for the TV News Documentary category for her film Caity: My life with Half a Brain. The stirring film documents the remarkable life of Caity Downs, a teenager with a rare syndrome called Sturge Weber Syndrome. The condition caused her to have epilepsy as a child, the effects of which were so severe that her family was left with no option but to allow surgeons to remove half of Caity’s brain when she was just 18 months old. In the twenty-minute documentary, Caity meets the surgeon who had carried out the operation and attends a weekend meetup with other people affected by the condition. The result is a film that gives a deep insight into Caity’s life and shows how she copes despite her differences.

Emily Mee said: “I am delighted to have received a nomination for this award. It is really exciting to know that my work is being judged by some of the industry’s top professionals. Working with the wonderful Caity and her family to put their story on film was an honour. I hope that, in addition to telling her story and raising awareness of Sturge Weber syndrome, my film will encourage people to be kind to everyone, as you never know the struggles others may face.”

Since graduatingwith a First class degree from the University of Winchester with a First Class degree in October, Emily has landed a role at Sky News.

Nominated for her film Road Racing: The Risk & the Rush, Victoria Quinn is in the running for the Steve Harris Award for Best Original Story. Her gripping film explores the community around the sport of road racing, which sees motorcyclists take part in high-risk races on closed public roads with only their leathers and a helmet to protect them. Through interviews with former motorcycle racer turned television presenter Guy Martin and Irish professional road racer Glenn Irwin, Victoria shares the highs and lows of the sport, documenting this unique way of life.

“Being shortlisted for the 2018 BJTC Student Journalism Awards is such an honour,” Victoria Quinn said. “I created the film as part of my degree dissertation and I have been delighted by the response to it. The topic of road racing is close to my heart as my dad was a racer himself until well into his 40s. Road racing often gets a reputation as a selfish, aggressive sport but those I have met from the racing community are some of the most vibrant and charismatic people I have ever come across. I hope that my film captures this and documents not only the sad times but also the excitement and love associated with the sport.”

Since receiving her First class degree from Winchester this year, Victoria has gone on to work as a journalist at Ulster Tatler, a lifestyle and society magazine based in Northern Ireland. 

The national Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) Student Journalism Awards 2018 recognise the country’s newly qualified journalists and is open to all students studying on BJTC training courses. It is run by the BJTC, the UK’s largest industry-backed higher education training body for multiplatform, broadcast and mobile journalism. The University of Winchester’s BA (Hons) Journalism programme has been accredited by the BJTC for almost ten years

Brian Thornton, Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) Journalism and former BBC journalist, said: “We are delighted to see the work of two of our former students shortlisted for national awards. We are very ambitious for our students and set very high standards on our journalism course. Both of these films illustrate the quality of the work that is produced here. All the staff and students are extremely proud of Emily and Victoria and wish them the best of luck in their journalism careers."

The awards will be announced at a ceremony on 27 November at BBC Media City in Salford.

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