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Haringey citizen journalist makes news with competition win

AWARDED: Patrick Barrow and Barney Jones with Joel Kiffin

HARINGEY CITIZEN journalist Joel Kiffin was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the 2017 London Voices journalist competition sponsored by The Media Society and London Learning Consortium at a high profile event at the London Reform Club last week.

Kiffin’s written entry considers the pros and cons of social media for democracy, and was part of a competition designed to encourage new talent into journalism.

Dubbed London Voices, the competition aims to promote emerging journalism talent across the capital and to generate a range of new perspectives and ideas about London. Aspiring citizen journalists submitted articles, videos or photos which debated and challenged the ways people think about their communities.

The competition was launched against a background of discussion about the proliferation of ‘fake news’, and is part of an attempt to fight back by encouraging citizens to become part of reporting ‘real’ news about their communities and issues.

Kiffin’s interest in politics was evident in his written entry to the competition, discussing ideas about the use and misuse of social media, and the extent to which it could be seen as contributing to or stifling democratic debate. His entry was even more impressive considering that he has only just completed his A Levels, and was one of the youngest entrants to the competition.

Media Society judges Patrick Barrow and Barney Jones loved Kiffin’s “well presented” article and felt it was, “informative, carefully prepared and well backed up with quotes and statistics”. He was presented with her award by President of The Media Society, Richard Peel.

Having just completed his studies at Alexander Park School, he has applied to university to study Journalism and Media. He intends to continue with his twin passions of sport (cricket, football, tennis and Formula One) and writing, and he has plans to eventually work within either print media or broadcast media such as radio.

Sponsor Stephen Jeffery from London Learning Consortium said “The more we can encourage local people to get involved with citizen journalism, the better chance we have of reporting events and issues in a fair and balanced way. As CEO of a London training provider, it’s been great to help emerging journalists learn more about how to get their voices heard.”

Media Society Judge Patrick Barrow said of the competition in general, “It’s been great to hear so many different voices reflecting how much London has changed – and stayed the same. Many of the entries were thoughtful and illuminating accounts of life in the capital from many viewpoints and judging them was a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

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