Former student scoops top journalism award

A former student from City of Wolverhampton has scooped a top journalism award for his writing.

James Forrest, who studied for his NCTJ qualification at the college last year, was crowned Travel Writing Student of the Year at Birmingham Press Club’s inaugural Midlands Media Student Awards, held in Birmingham on April 14.

The 31-year-old was presented with his award by owner of Cloud 9 Event Management Paula Kelsey, for a feature about walking the 214 peaks featured in the seven pictorial guides by Alfred Wainwright.

The judges said: “James’ article is written with passion and beautifully pays homage to the Wainwright guides. Supported with some impressive photos, the piece draws the reader in and sustains interest right from the dramatic opening sentences. This is the kind of travel writing that might even convince armchair readers to put on their walking boots!”

James, who now works as a reporter for the Worcester News, said: ““I am absolutely delighted to have won this award.

“I hope to write about travel and the great outdoors in the future, so hopefully this accolade will be the start of more to come.

“Walking in the Lake District is a bit of an obsession of mine and I’d like to think that passion came across in my feature about the Wainwright fells.

“I want to thank my college tutors for all their help and support and the Midlands Media Awards for organising such a fantastic event.”

Lecturer Dani Wozencroft said: “James was an excellent student at City of Wolverhampton College and has quickly become an accomplished journalist since entering the world of work.

“He was a pleasure to teach and thrived on our award winning NCTJ course so it is no surprise to us that he has gone on to win awards of his own.

“We are very proud of all he has achieved so far in a relatively short space of time and we know he will go on to have a long and successful career as a journalist.”

This is not the first time James has been singled out for his journalism skills. In February he was presented with the Johnston Press award for court reporting at the NCTJ’s annual Student Council event.

The awards, launched to recognise the emerging talent of next-generation journalists and broadcasters, were organised by Cloud 9 Event Management as part of Birmingham Press Club’s 150th anniversary celebrations. They attracted more than 110 entries from media students throughout the East and West Midlands.