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Grenfell Activist Announced as finalist in ITV News comp

FINALIST: Hadeel Elshak

HADEEL ELSHAK, a sixth form student and social justice activist from Hammersmith has been named as the regional finalist for ITV News London
'Breaking Into News' initiative.

The unique project, fronted by TV’s award-winning news broadcaster Charlene White and Ria Chatterjee for ITV News London designed to promote diversity in broadcast journalism.

Addressing the need for improved representation of diverse audiences across the industry, ITV News encouraged applications from a wide talent pool attracting local budding broadcast journalists, some who have little to no relevant experience.

Under the professional mentoring of Katie Oakes for ITV News London, Elshak is now in the process of creating a TV news report on the handling of Grenfell fire and its effect on the engagement of young people in politics which may even be shown on ITV London News.

Elshak, who also works with children's charity Solidarity Sports, said: "The council and government's response has been described as inadequate, with community run projects taking over the job of the council.

"For my report, I will be investigating if this has led to distrust in the system for young people. I also want to explore whether their response acts as a confirmation of the narrative "us and them" and, if so, what is the effect on the future of politics?"

Michael Jermey, ITV's Director of News and Current Affairs commented: "We're delighted by the range and quality of this year's Breaking Into News finalists. The scheme is a wonderful opportunity for people with a passion for broadcasting to be mentored by an ITV Journalist to bring their story to air. Past finalists have found it a great experience near the beginning of their careers."

Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of Media Trust, added: "It is vital that the media industry is representative of, and speaks to, the diverse range of communities that make up their audiences. At Media Trust, we encourage talent from all walks of life, backgrounds and abilities to pursue careers in the media.

"Programmes such as Breaking into News allow us to broaden the talent pool and give under-represented communities a voice. I can’t wait to hear the stories that this year’s finalists have to tell.”

Along with nine other finalists from ITV news regions across the UK, Elshak will present her final news report to an esteemed panel of judges including Roohi Hasan (ITV News, Senior News Producer), Kate Watkins Tutor (Head of TV News Training, School of Media and Communication, Leeds University), Margaret Emsley (Head of News at ITV Calendar) and Jasmine Dotiwala (Head of Youth Engagement at Media Trust).

One lucky finalist will be selected and will be awarded with £400 worth of journalistic equipment and the chance to have their local news report aired on ITV. The overall winner will be revealed on 25 July 2018 at a special award ceremony in London.

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