Young Journalist Award

Breaking into journalism has always taken talent, tenacity and entrepreneurialism. But it just seems to get harder – young would-be journalists also face the challenge of trying to gain some experience in a diminishing local scene; exactly where, historically, most reporters got their first break.

It’s tough standing out from the crowd when you all have the same cookie-cutter CV of qualifications.

But Look! We’re here! And as parents of four ourselves, we’re acutely aware of how deeply important real life skills are as our young people head into adulthood. Whether it’s for a Uni application, to place on a CV – or simply as the springboard for a smart young brain to drive their own business forwards. We’ve been there – we ARE here, and we want to help.

But not alone.
We’re totally thrilled to be partnering with the amazing Alice Plunkett – journalist and TV presenter (plus the small matter of being the only woman to have ridden at both Badminton Horse Trials and over the Grand National course at Aintree).

This award is Alice’s brainchild, and her help and personal mentoring are part of the prize.

“Young people in our rural county often find it difficult to find a platform – but they all have a voice, and unique experiences and perspectives which need to be heard. I’m really excited to be part of such an opportunity for them.
Alice Plunkett

We are looking for young Dorset residents, 25 or under, who would like the opportunity to write for The Blackmore Vale. In addition to featuring through the coming year, they will also be mentored by Alice Plunkett – in both their writing and their role as a journalist.

We want to give young people a unique chance to share their local news to the wider community with the help of an established local news outlet and professional journalist and broadcaster.

How to enter?
Simply report on an aspect of living in Dorset which is important to you.
You can write it, record it as a podcast, make a Vlog – we’re a digital publication, so we can accommodate and and all media forms.

All entries will be judged on editorial merit – the strength of story, originality, and the personal story or background around it. We will be looking for a range of diverse stories from across the county.

The three winners will each be invited to contribute features over the coming year with a highlighted byline, whilst enjoying collaborative Zoom sessions plus one-to-one mentoring sessions with Alice Plunkett.

Tips for entering

Remember we are looking for powerful personal stories and ideas related to living in Dorset – what you love, what you hate; help your readers understand your viewpoint.

The story must be original and about an issue or a personal experience or insight, and/or reflect the life of the contributor or their friends or family.

You should state why you think you reporting of the story or issue will bring a unique perspective to it, but also how you would widen your report to look at the issues around the subject.

Each entry will need to answer the following question: Why you want to share your story and what it would mean to you to share your story. That’s to give us a bit of background about why you want to tell this story, what it means to you – why is it relevant to you and your life?

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