Leeds Trinity University students scoop Yorkshire Evening Post local journalism honours

Local Journalism Digital Excellence prize winner Charlotte Lascelles, meeting Good Charlotte while working on her website, LeedsAlternative.com
Local Journalism Digital Excellence prize winner Charlotte Lascelles, meeting Good Charlotte while working on her website, LeedsAlternative.com
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A Leeds Trinity University student has scooped the Yorkshire Evening Post’s inaugural prize for local journalism excellence.

The competition, a partnership between the YEP and Leeds Trinity University, had a wealth of incredibly strong entries and the YEP had a tough time picking a winner from so many deserving students.

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Charlotte Lascelles, 22, took the top spot for her website www.leedsalternative.com, taking a look at the alternative music scene in Leeds.

The scheme, which was launched for the 2017-18 academic year, tasked final-year students with creating a local journalism project, including a website which focused on an aspect of local coverage.

As the winner, Charlotte will be invited into the newsroom to work on digital projects at the YEP offices in Leeds, while two close runners-up will also be able to take part in work experience.

Charlotte’s website shines a light on up and coming local music talent, including interviews with bands such as To The Strongest, reviews of gigs and a round-up of the alt scene in the city every week.

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For Charlotte, originally from Harrogate, the project was very much a labour of love.

“I love alternative music. I go to gigs a lot, and so I was inspired to use that on a journalistic basis.

“I always had an idea that I wanted to be an alternative music journalist.

“Working on LeedsAlternative.com has helped me to develop my skills and confidence and studying at Leeds Trinity has been great, they have always been helpful.”

Charlotte was thrilled to have been chosen as the YEP’s winner.

She added: “To be honest I can’t even put it into words. I never thought that my site about alternative music would be considered for an award, I was just writing about something I loved and wanted to be a part of career wise, so I’m just in a bit of shock but I’m incredibly happy and grateful.”

A close second was tied between Vanessa O’Sullivan, who created an environmentally-themed website with a Leeds focus - www.theecohive.com and Lauren Entwhistle, who masterminded The Thought Gallery.

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The Eco Hive includes investigative journalism on green affairs, plus advice and recipes for eco-friendly food and lifestyle.

The Thought Gallery (www.thethoughtgallery.com) put local museums and culture under the spotlight.

Chloe Horswill created a site focused on women’s football in Yorkshire, www.yorkshirewomensfootball.com, complete with match reports on various ties in the women’s game and digital photo galleries.

Angry Animals Yorkshire.com, a journalism site all about animal news, was the brainchild of student Jessica Greenway.

Stories included a feature on a not-for-profit vets in Leeds and the opening of the Kitty Cafe in the city centre.

Thomas Wilson created www.leedstrinityfootball.com to talk about the beautiful game at a hyperlocal level at the university.

Terrileigh Wilkinson came up with Let’s Talk Transport, a Leeds-centric site about motoring and public transport in the city, with stories on safety on buses, frustrations with roadworks and airport improvements among the content on offer.

Yorkshire Evening Post Editor Hannah Thaxter said: “We were really impressed with the quality of the work from all of the students, and picking a winner was very difficult indeed.

"These are the digital journalists of the future and the Yorkshire Evening Post wants to play its part in encouraging and develop their skills by supporting prizes such as this. I'm looking forward to meeting them again during their work experience."