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Journalist highly commended for sexual health reporting

Aasma DayA regional daily journalist has been highly commended after being shortlisted for an award celebrating the best in sexual health reporting.

Judges for the 2016 Rosemary Goodchild Award, organised by the Family Planning Association, gave particular praise to Aasma Day, left, for highlighting issues faced by transgender people in her entry.

Aasma, who works for Blackpool daily The Gazette and the Lancashire Evening Post, won her nomination for a revealing piece with retired transgender headteacher Carolyn Mercer which appeared in The Gazette in April.

The award was won by The Independent’s Siobhan Fenton, for an article about women in Northern Ireland being prosecuted over abortions.

The judges said of Aasma’s entry: “We were really pleased to see trans issues being highlighted in Aasma’s story, and especially to find out that the article shortlisted was actually one of a series of stories published in the Blackpool Gazette and other newspapers.

“I think all of the judges were quite moved by the interview with Carolyn Mercer and could see the positive impact it would have on readers.”

Aasma told HTFP: “It is a huge surprise and an honour to be Highly Commended in the Rosemary Goodchild Awards.

“Having seen the calibre of the other entries, I felt privileged to have made the shortlist and never expected to be highly commended.

“Congratulations to the worthy winner and other shortlisted journalists. Thanks once again to Carolyn Mercer for sharing her story and highlighting awareness of issues faced by the trans community.”