Student Journalist of the Year - the Mind Media Awards Shortlist
Posted Friday 25 November 2011
This is a guest blog by Victoria Aitchison, as part of our series on the Mind Media Awards to be held on 28 November 2011.
Earlier this month I was approached my Mind after they had heard about my final university project ‘You Must Be Mental’. A project based on making the idea of talking about mental health fashionable in teens and young adults.
As a Journalism student myself Mind asked me to review this year’s finalists for the Student Journalist of the Year award. Not only was I pleasantly surprised by the standard but also found myself relating to this year’s entries more than I ever thought I would. Here’s why.
Dave Jackson: The Hidden Clique
Dave Jackson, a student from Nottingham University explores the university lifestyle and delves deep beneath the surface to reveal ‘The Hidden Clique’.
As many of us are fully aware, those first few weeks of social interaction at university are largely considered ”the best days of our lives”. However, this isn’t always the case as many students face an inner turmoil of loneliness and anxiety. Jackson says:
Considering the magnitude of expectations that many students have of university life, it’s hardly surprising that so many come away from their first few weeks of university feeling disappointed and disaffected.
Referring to his own university experience, Jackson cleverly explains how easy it is for students to become disconnected from their school support system and urges for vast improvements, backing up his argument with his own ideas.
Jackson’s writing is witty and intelligent, a mean feat for any budding journalist and a very worthy nominee.
Jemma Coburn: An Investigation into Discrimination
Jemma Coburn’s report ‘An Investigation to Discrimination’ takes the subject of mental health to the streets of Lincolnshire with the question "Would you date somebody with a mental illness?". The results of Coburn’s study are shocking as you hear people using the words; “lunatic” and “retarded”.
This entry truly highlights the huge stigma that still exists around mental illness. She says:
There are an estimated hundred thousand people with mental health problems in Lincolnshire alone according to Lincolnshire County Council.
That’s one in every seven on this high street, and those comments sum up what many people think about those who are mentally ill.
Joshua Jackson: Suffering in Silence
My name is Josh Jackson. At 16 I wanted to kill myself.
Suffering in slience is an incredibly personal and honest documentary film into Josh’s life and the problems he has to deal with because of his depression.
We see Jackson go back to the school where his illness began and in a frank interview with his parents, we hear how it affected them, their family and consumed their lives for 4 years.
His mother, Tessa Jackson, says:
What you have to understand about when you’re living with someone with mental illness, rather [it] than being the person with mental illness, [it] is the rest of the people [who] are on tenterhooks, dancing on hot coals wondering whether today is a good day.
This entry is a brave and heartfelt journey into one mans search for answers.
I will be attending the Mind Media Awards, catching up with the nominees and reviewing the event on this very blog next week.
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