NEWS 

City University student wins Hugo Young award

Lucy Knight, a journalism masters student from City University, was announced, in March, as the winner of the 2019 Hugo Young award at a ceremony in London.

City University student wins Hugo Young award
Guardian Foundation Hugo Young Award 2019 (L-R): Sonia Sodha, Sam Hall, Lucy Knight, Katharine Viner, Harriet Whitehead, Joanna York Photograph: Anna Gordon / The Guardian Foundation

Lucy Knight, a journalism masters student from City University, was announced, in March, as the winner of the 2019 Hugo Young award at a ceremony in London.

Lucy’s winning piece explores her experiences of being gay and Christian; from her openness about her sexuality at a comedy show in Soho to her identity within the church and the queer Christian communities she has been part of.

Lucy’s article has been published in the Guardian’s opinion section. She will also have the opportunity to shadow one of the Guardian’s political editors in the lobby and receive a cash prize of £500.

The award, run by The Guardian Foundation, is now in its third year and was created in memory of the late Hugo Young, a political columnist at the Guardian for almost 20 years and one of the most influential figures in British political journalism.

Championing the best political opinion writing among postgraduate journalism students across the UK, the award celebrates Hugo’s legacy by encouraging fresh voices and new perspectives which, now more than ever, are essential to the future of quality, independent political journalism, says the Guardian.

The award ceremony was also a celebration of the Guardian’s Scott Trust Bursary Scheme, which each year enables a number of promising journalists from diverse social and/or ethnic backgrounds to study at postgraduate level.

The Hugo Young award was presented to Lucy Knight by Guardian editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. The event was hosted by Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer at the Observer and deputy opinion editor at the Guardian, and featured Scott Trust Bursary alumni in conversation with Guardian chief leader writer, Randeep Ramesh.

The shortlisted nominees were:

  • Harriet Whitehead from City University: ‘What the loss of my Mum taught me about the burden of care’
  • Joanna York from Edinburgh Napier University: ‘Why I’ll always be British but never a patriot’
  • Sam Hall from City University: ‘It’s just a normal school, you wouldn’t have heard of it.’ How one question illustrates the Great British educational divide’

Entries for the award were judged by a panel of senior Guardian journalists and Guardian Foundation trustees against a criteria of finding the most topical, thoughtful and well-researched entries.

Lucy Knight, winner, said: “I am honoured to have won the Hugo Young award for this hugely personal piece. I feel proud that the article will be published on the Guardian, providing a platform for people to read my story and for others to maybe relate to some of my own experiences of what it means to be gay and Christian today”.

Sonia Sodha, chief leader writer at the Observer and deputy opinion editor at the Guardian, said: “Lucy Knight’s column was an outstanding piece of writing, infused with honesty and humour - a very personal account of her experience of being gay and a practising Christian. Her piece was the stand out from a very strong set of entries that covered a diverse range of issues this year, including Brexit and patriotism, education in Britain, and the gender imbalance in the burden of care”.

Ben Hicks, executive director, The Guardian Foundation, said: “The Hugo Young award and the Scott Trust Bursary Scheme proudly champions new and emerging talent, helping to bring diverse and fresh perspectives to the industry. A wide spectrum of reporting and representation is important for any newsroom and these initiatives are crucial in helping to showcase, develop and support the next wave of aspiring young journalists”.

Last year’s Hugo Young award winner was Sophia Ankel, who wrote a personal piece about her experience of online sexual harassment titled ‘What I learned when naked pictures of me were leaked online’. Sophia has since had several other pieces published with The Guardian, as well as articles on VICE’s food website MUNCHIES, and Eastlondonlines. The winner of the 2017 prize was Daniel Lavelle for his piece on homelessness. Daniel also went on to write a number of other pieces for the Guardian on topics such as mental health and social care.