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Journalism student who exposed city’s ‘sex for rent’ scandal wins award

ClaisseA journalism student who exposed a ‘sex for rent’ scandal in the city where she studies has been honoured for her investigation.

HTFP reported in September how Canterbury Christ Church University student Claisse Opulencia, left, went undercover to reveal more than 10 landlords in the city had admitted to entering into such arrangements with “vulnerable” female students.

Now Claisse’s investigation has won her the Nest News Story prize at the Student Publication Association Awards, which were held on Saturday.

Canterbury Christ Church’s student newspaper UNIfied also won the Best Publication award, with Tom Schwartz, who also writes for the title, winning Best Journalist.

Conor Matchett, chair of the SPA, said: “This year’s winners shows the true strength in depth in student journalism today.

“The belief that the best journalists in this country come exclusively from Oxbridge is patently false and it is time the best newsrooms in the country sit up and take notice of these journalists and start hiring them.

“Each and every one of our winners are superbly talented journalists and are the future of the industry.”

A full list of winners is as follows:

Best Publication
Winner: UNIfied (Canterbury Christ Church University)
Highly Commended: InQuire, (University of Kent)
Highly Commended: The Cheese Grater (University College London)

Best Reporter, sponsored by News Associates
Winner: Tom Schwartz, UNIfied
Highly Commended: Liam Taft, Redbrick (University of Birmingham)
Highly Commended: Julia Atherley, Palatinate (Durham University)

Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment
Winner: Samuel Turner, Strand Magazine (Kings College London)
Highly Commended: Ethan Davies, The Mancunion (University of Manchester)

Best News Story, sponsored by City University
Winner: Claisse Opulencia, UNIfied
Highly Commended: Georgina Hayes, Laurie Clarke, Hamish Morrison, Jen Bowey, Glasgow Guardian (University of Glasgow)

Best Specialist Publication
Winner: theGIST
Highly Commended: La Civetta (University of Bristol)

Best Overall Digital Media, sponsored by Sky News
Winner: Epigram (University of Bristol)
Highly Commended: Gair Rhydd (Cardiff University)

Best Newcomer
Winner: WoW Magazine (Loughborough University)
Highly Commended: Farid the Zine
Highly Commended: _shift London (London College of Fashion)

Best Website
Winner: Epigram (University of Bristol)
Highly Commended: The Saint (University of St. Andrews)

Best Science Section or Publication, sponsored by Association of British Science Writers
Winner: The Boar (University of Warwick)
Highly Commended: Gair Rhydd (Cardiff University)

Best Sports Coverage
Winner: Gair Rhydd (Cardiff University)
Highly Commended: UNIfied (Canterbury Christ Church University)

Best Human Rights Journalist, sponsored by RightsInfo
Winner: Kate Hutchison, Epigram (Bristol University)
Highly Commended: Julia Atherley, Palatinate (Durham University)

Best Human Rights Story, sponsored by RightsInfo
Winner: Dylan O’Neill, The University Observer (University College Dublin)
Highly Commended: Nikki Peach and Kate Hutchison, Epigram (University of Bristol)
Special Mention: Annissa Warsame, The Falmouth Anchor (University of Exeter, Falmouth campus and the University of Falmouth)

Best Comment or Opinion Piece
Winner: Issy Campbell, Redbrick (University of Birmingham)
Highly Commended: Emily Schone, Pi Media (University College London)

Best Interview
Winner: Jay Staker, The Oxford Student (Oxford University)
Highly Commended: Liv Clarke, The Mancunion (Manchester University)

Best Science and Technology Story, sponsored by Association of British Science Writers
Winner: Patrick Hughes, The Glasgow Guardian (University of Glasgow)
Highly Commended: Sasha Santhakamur, The Boar (University of Warwick)

Best Entertainment Story
Winner: Annabelle Steele, The Saint (University of St Andrews)
Highly Commended: Joseph Silke, Nouse (University of York)

Best Feature, sponsored by the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday
Winner: Ellie Fielding, InQuire (University of Kent)
Highly Commended: Adam Saraswati Rawlings, SCAN (Lancaster University)
Highly Commended: Harry Williamson, Brig (University of Stirling)

Best Lifestyle Story
Winner: Katie Jenkins, Exeposé (University of Exeter)
Highly Commended: Jake Marshall, The Boar (University of Warwick)
Special Mention: Finley Dickens, Qmunicate (Queen Margaret Union at University of Glasgow)

Best Magazine Design
Winner: BUMF (Bournemouth University)
Highly Commended: WoW Magazine (Loughborough University)

Best Newspaper Design
Winner: The Boar (University of Warwick)
Highly Commended: Concrete (University of East Anglia)

Best Photographer
Winner: Emily Heath, InQuire (University of Kent)
Highly Commended: Domas Radzevicius, Magdalen Magazine (University of Dundee)


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  • April 11, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Congratulations Claisse – and all the other winners – journalism at its very best. Good luck with your career

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