28 Mar 2023

MHP Group launches new 30 To Watch Breakthrough Award in partnership with News UK

The new category is open to all young journalists who entered the industry without going to university


One of the founding principles of the MHP Group 30 To Watch Journalism Awards is that they should always be free to enter.

We recognise that working in the media is often poorly paid and that cost should be no barrier to celebrating great young talent.

Our approach has seen 30 To Watch grow over the last 12 years into an event that regularly has more than 400 entries from print, broadcast and digital journalists around the world.

And our winners like Sophy Ridge at Sky News, Harry Cole from the Sun and Ollie Shah at the Sunday Times have gone on to become some of the most influential journalists in the industry.

However it is becoming increasingly more difficult to make a career in journalism, especially for those from less well-off backgrounds.

In his keynote speech at last year’s event, John Ryley the Head of Sky News said: “Our newsrooms do not reflect the society on which they report.

“Our newsrooms tend to be too white, too middle class, and just too similar.”

That’s why MHP Group is proud to launch our new Breakthrough award in partnership with News UK.

The award is open to all 30 To Watch entrants who did not go to university. They might have entered the industry through an apprenticeship, a trainee scheme or through sheer bloody mindedness.

Many news organisations are already running schemes to encourage more social mobility in the news room.

The Breakthrough Award is designed to recognise the dedication and resilience of young journalists who have entered the industry through non-traditional routes.

Our panel of 20 judges, led by John Ryley, include senior journalists and editors from across the media industry.

Anne Alexander is Head of Politics at ITV Good Morning Britain and a 30 To Watch judge.

She said: “I’m delighted the Breakthrough Award has been added to the list of categories this year.

“It is so important that journalism is open to all, and we must recognise and encourage the range of routes into the profession which do not necessarily involve having a degree.

“There is so much untapped talent out there, and there has never been a more important time for us all to ensure journalism really reflects the society we serve.

John Stevens won a 30 To Watch award in 2016 when he was a young reporter at the Daily Mail. He is now Political Editor at the Daily Mirror and a 30 To Watch judge.

He said: “The 30 To Watch awards are a great way to recognise young and talented journalists who are already having a big impact and helping to reshape our industry.

“I’m particularly excited about the new Breakthrough award because it’s important to attract diverse talent into our newsrooms.”

30 To Watch judge Anthony France, Senior News Correspondent at  the Evening Standard said: “I’m delighted to be judging the new MHP Breakthrough Award. There are so many routes into journalism, including through local papers like I did, and it’s important that we celebrate the best talent from all backgrounds”

News organisations are already innovating when it comes to encouraging diverse talent into the newsroom and better reflecting their audience.

Former 30 To Watch winner Nadine White has become the UK’s first dedicated race correspondent at the Independent and a range of apprenticeships and trainee schemes are beginning to emerge.

We hope the 30 To Watch Breaththrough award will help celebrate more diversity in journalism and lead to more news organisations encouraging social mobility in the newsroom.

To enter 30 To Watch click here

By Keith Gladdis

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