Fellows

Here are the talented journalists accepted on this year’s early career and apprentice mentoring scheme. We see them as the next generation of leaders in the news industry.

To find out more about their mentors, please visit the Senior Fellows’ page.

Applications for the 2023 scheme will open in the autumn of 2022. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about it!

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Frankie Allan

Frankie currently works as a digital journalist at BBC Scotland News in Glasgow. Her journey at the BBC began in 2018 when she was accepted onto the Journalism Trainee Scheme and has since worked across TV, radio and online. She regularly covers a range of news topics, taking a specific interest in music and youth culture.

Before beginning her career as a journalist, Frankie studied Law and Spanish at the University of Edinburgh. She often DJs at various venues across the country and runs a women and non-binary DJ collective with an aim to equalise Scotland’s music scene.

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Sean Allsop

Sean is a factual producer at Audio Always from Luton, and has made documentaries for BBC World Service, Radio 4 and Absolute Radio. Prior to this Sean was with the BBC for 2 years as a multimedia producer. There he produced projects including “LGBT Poland, the fight for rights” exposing the homophobic abuse still rife in Poland, and “The Truth Behind A Woke Instagram Network” – bringing down an online scam in the process.

Sean’s an alumnus of the BBC Production Trainee Scheme and was recently nominated for best factual producer at the Audio Production Awards.

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Soila Apparicio

Soila is a Podcast Producer at Sky News, mainly producing and editing the Sky News Daily Podcast, as well as contributing to other programmes including Climatecast.

She previously worked as a Journalist for BBC Radio Current Affairs on an array of World Service and Radio 4 programmes, including The Inquiry, The Briefing Room, The Climate Question, Newscast, and The Missing Cryptoqueen, and for BBC News on Newsnight, Panorama, and Click. Soila has also produced independent audio documentaries for climate news outlets DeSmog UK and Climate Home News. She used to series produce the award-winning Very Loose Women podcast. She is also an NUJ George Viner Scholar.

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Hamish Auskerry

After growing up with sheep farming parents on a small island in Orkney, Scotland, Hamish did various freelance work when he left school including for STV North before studying Politics and History at Newcastle University.

Hamish was then selected as one of ITV News’ Trainees in 2018/19 where he was based in Wales as a Production Journalist. After building additional experience and screen-time in Guernsey for ITV Channel, Hamish is now an On-Screen Journalist at ITV Wales.

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Dan Ayers

Dan is a freelance multimedia journalist currently working in the West Country. He graduated from the BBC’s Digital Journalist Apprenticeship scheme achieving NCTJ Gold Standard in 2019. Since then he’s been freelancing at various radio stations including BBC Radio Somerset, Bristol and Solent reporting across various media platforms.

Dan creates digital content for BBC platforms and is also confident doing live and pre-recorded newspieces for radio. Some of Dan’s content has been viewed by millions of people across social media and on the BBC News website. He also enjoys inspiring the next generation, talking to schools about the media industry.

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Sam Baker

Sam is a multimedia trained journalist who has spent the last two years working as a Trainee Reporter with MailOnline breaking and covering news stories both in the UK and across the globe. This has meant covering topics including the coronavirus pandemic and the evacuation of Afghanistan, among others.

Previously, he worked as a freelance Assistant News Editor with ITV News, helping to produce coverage for the 2019 General Election. At the start of 2022 he will be starting a new role as a Text Producer at Sky News and is excited to dive back into broadcast journalism.

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Daniel Bennett

Daniel is a reporter for BBC Scotland, based in Shetland since 2018. Community reporting has been central to him, giving voice to citizens and putting their concerns to local politicians. His reporting ranges from community events to massive industrial projects to breaking news emergencies.

Daniel is a regular presenter and newsreader on BBC Radio Shetland, has created numerous radio documentaries, and has worked briefly in Orkney and on network in Glasgow. Daniel has become known for off-diary online features, bringing more of the islands to the world. He is a graduate Queen’s University, Belfast, where he studied English and Spanish.

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Amy Borrett

Amy is a data journalist at Sky News, covering a range of national and international stories. She was previously part of the data journalism unit at the New Statesman Media Group, where she mainly wrote about technology and business. She recently graduated from a masters in Financial Journalism at City University and has also written for the Financial Times, Business Insider, Investors Chronicle and Sifted.

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Jon Brady

Jon Brady is a multimedia journalist currently working for the Daily Record and its sister local online news brand, Dundee Live. Prior to this, he began his career at DC Thomson in Dundee, working as a trainee reporter, senior reporter and council reporter for the city’s Evening Telegraph newspaper. He then joined the publisher’s Impact digital news team, writing investigative and in-depth longform journalism.

Prior to joining the Daily Record he also covered the Angus, Fife and Clackmannanshire council areas for the BBC’s Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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Patricia Clarke

Patricia Clarke is a journalist at Tortoise, working across investigative podcasts and data stories. She was a reporter on award-nominated investigations into domestic abuse homicides and abuse in the porn industry. She joined Tortoise after completing an MSc in Digital Journalism at Goldsmiths, and was previously Commissioning Editor at Culture Trip. Born in Spain to a British-Argentine family, and having lived in Madrid and Paris, she is now based in London.

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Ellie Clifford

Ellie is a freelance Audio Producer based in London. She has created radio documentaries and podcasts for a huge range of clients including BBC Radio 4, The Economist, and Audible.

Her main passion lies in history and politics, and she helped to launch POLITICO’s ‘Westminster Insider’ podcast. She has an MA in Broadcast Journalism from City University and is BJTC-accredited.

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Brandon Cook

For the last two years Brandon has reported and presented some of the biggest local stories on Scotland’s most watched news programme, STV News. He is mostly found on the news at six; however, he also enjoys sinking his teeth into the odd long form piece on Scotland Tonight.

Brandon describes himself as a west coast boy living in the north east. He began life working as a journalist on local TV during his final year at the University of the West of Scotland. Upon graduating in 2019, he worked for BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme The Nine.

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Florence Craig

Florence is a journalist and social producer for BBC News. Prior to this, she worked at Channel 4 News. Florence has a love of shooting and editing, and used to produce C4’s digital foreign affairs series, Divided World. She also helped to shape ITN’s new disability network.

Prior to working for Channel 4 News, Florence launched BBC Global News’s documentary brand, BBC Reel, across social media and produced mini-docs for the site. She has also worked as a freelance video journalist for BBC Wales News. Originally from Mid Wales, she has a passion for science, natural history and tech.

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Elen Davies

Elen is a journalist and reporter for ITV Cymru’s Welsh language programmes department. Having studied Welsh and Journalism at Cardiff University, Elen went on to win a Wales Media Award for her work as a student Journalist. Elen joined ITV through a digital trainee scheme and was one of the first people to create bespoke, Welsh language news content for a young audience.

Elen now works as a Journalist for the department’s investigative current affairs series and has been a reporter for S4C’s flagship political programme since 2019. Her main passion is giving a voice to her viewers.

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Isabella D’Emilio

Isabella is a multimedia journalist and features writer, she has written for the Mirror, Metro and produced digital content for MyLondon. She has also worked widely across lifestyle magazines including Grazia and the Conde Nast titles. Having previously worked professionally in PR for a leading human rights organisation, Isabella developed an interest in rights related issues and real life stories. She has written on a range of topics, including social issues, housing, women’s health, international affairs, arts and culture, sharing stories with unique perspectives. She is also interested in investigative features and covering underreported issues. Isabella would like to develop her journalism further exploring audio visual mediums including podcasts, radio and documentaries.

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Osob Elmi

Osob is a broadcast journalist in News and Current Affairs at the BBC, working in regional and international news. She is the first hijab-wearing black woman to report on BBC Points West. She is also an alumna of the BBC’s journalism trainee scheme.

Osob has produced a diverse range of work for TV, radio and online with stories ranging from knife crime to child poverty, mental health in the Somali community and the Black Lives Matter movement and modest fashion, as well as significant coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

Before joining the BBC, Osob completed a degree in journalism at the University of Gloucestershire.

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Chanise Evans

In her current role as a digital journalist for BBC Young Reporter, Chanise supports under 18s to tell the stories that really matter to them. She helps them to develop their original story ideas for broadcast, filming and editing them in a way that speaks to other young people. Chanise has been on the BBC News Next Generation panel and she is a big advocate for diversity and inclusion. In 2018, Chanise started learning  British Sign Language and will be moving on to study her level 4 in 2022.

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Katie Fenton

Katie joined ITV Wales through the ITV News Traineeship after finishing her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. Based in Cardiff, Katie now works as a Production Journalist, creating digital content, developing original journalism and producing bulletins. In 2020, she worked as a producer with ITV Wales’ Work and Economy Correspondent to deliver a five-part series exploring the future of work post-pandemic. Passionate about engaging younger audiences, Katie created bespoke Instagram content for first-time voters during the 2021 Senedd election. She has recently started an On-Screen Journalist attachment, and occasionally presents, including the flagship 6pm programme.

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Beth Fisher

Beth has been the sports reporter for ITV Cymru Wales News since 2019, reporting and presenting on a range of major sporting events from Euro 2020 to interviewing the new Hollywood owners at Wrexham AFC.

Beth arrived late into the industry after retiring from international hockey but made history in 2019 when she became the first woman in Wales to commentate on football for BBC Wales. Beth is determined to use her platform and position in the sports industry to help campaign for better representation of people from diverse backgrounds.

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Shamaan Freeman Powell

Shamaan is a general news correspondent for Sky News. Originally from Nottingham, she spent time living in Sheffield working as a local reporter, before moving to London in 2017 to get her NCTJ at Press Association.
Previously, she worked as an assistant producer for BBC Panorama, a reporter and producer for the BBC News channel and the Victoria Derbyshire programme, as well as writing for the front page of the BBC website.

She has produced content for TV, radio, digital and online, showing a commitment to diversity and telling stories seldom heard.

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Lucie Heath

Lucie is the deputy news editor at Inside Housing, where she reports on homelessness, net zero and the building safety crisis. Her reporting on the government’s attempts to find accommodation for rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic has led to her twice being shortlisted for a British Journalism Award for Specialist Journalism. This year she was selected as one of the Professional Publishers Associations 30 Under 30 in recognition of work she has published on housing’s role in the climate crisis. She is originally from Scotland but now lives on a narrowboat in London.

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Fransoy Hewitt

Fransoy is a mother of two. She has always enjoyed helping others. Fransoy believes that kindness, respect and pure genuineness can go a long way. Finley Peter Dunne said journalism should ‘Comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable’. This is something that Fransoy believes wholeheartedly.

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Niamh Hughes

Niamh is a journalist for BBC News.

Starting out in entertainment radio, Niamh cut her teeth as a journalist with Ouch! Disability. As well as a writer and podcast producer, she also produced two Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows “Storytelling Live” for BBC Two.

Her experiences in disability journalism have encouraged her to tell stories by and for all underserved audiences.

This year, Niamh continued to produce original journalism. She made two BBC Three documentaries: one investigating and exposing poor regulation in the aesthetics industry, the other exploring the untold stories of girls in gangs and the exploitation they face.

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Ashna Hurynag

Ashna is a Correspondent for Sky News, covering a range of national home affairs stories and breaking news across all platforms.

Her reporting includes fronting the digital, audio and TV coverage of the United Nations COP26 conference in Glasgow, the surge in migrant crossings across the English Channel and the ongoing conversation around the safety of women and girls.

Ashna regularly features on the Sky News Daily Podcast and away from her day job invests time in mentoring young people who wish to get into journalism.

She has won two regional Royal Television Society Awards.

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Emilia Jiang

Emilia is a bilingual (English & Mandarin) journalist and short-documentary producer, creating content for Future Studios, one of the world’s largest digital publishers. Previously, she worked as a China news reporter at MailOnline, focusing on China’s current affairs, technology and culture. Before moving to London, she worked at Ruptly’s Asian bureau in Beijing as a news producer, covering top political events in China.

A keen reader and curious mind, Emilia spent her adolescent years studying abroad and travelling around the world. She takes pride and joy in capturing real-life, human interest stories and connecting with people through her work.

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Bree Johnson Obeng

Bree is a journalist with experience in news documentaries and reporting. She has worked for prestigious broadcasting organisations such as Sky News, ITV News and the BBC. This includes flagship programmes such as BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Newsnight and Global Questions.

Motivated by amplifying the voices of marginalised groups, Bree’s work has been included in ELLE, Metro and BBC News including her documentary ‘Why is it harder to diagnose disease on non white skin?’. Bree aims to change the face of traditional media and is ready to overcome any challenge with a smile! 

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Steve Jones

Steve is an NQJ-qualified senior reporter currently working as a sports journalist for The Star, Sheffield, having previously worked as a reporter for the Express & Star.

Between these roles he worked in the media team at Kick It Out, producing and presenting the award-winning Kick It OutCast, which covered important stories and issues in the game that otherwise might have been overlooked. He also presents two weekly podcasts covering both Sheffield clubs for The Star.

Steve has freelanced at BBC Sport and the Non-League Paper and ghostwrote for several nationals on behalf of Kick It Out’s spokespeople.

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Catherine Karelli

Catherine is a broadcast journalist currently working at BBC World News TV, the BBC’s flagship international news channel. She works across all of the channel’s bulletins and shows, including Impact with Yalda Hakim and Outside Source with Ros Atkins. Catherine specialises in foreign affairs, with a particular interest in Russia, as well as her native Greece. She has been deployed to Greece as both a field producer and a reporter.

She was trained in reporting, producing and presenting TV & radio news at City University London, and holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature with a minor in Spanish from the University of Edinburgh.

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Sofia Lewis

Sofia is a freelance journalist from Port Talbot, south Wales. She has written for The Independent, VICE and Cosmopolitan, and has also worked as a documentary researcher and edit assistant. She has a keen interest in global affairs; her Italian and Spanish degree led to her to working in both Nicaragua and Trieste, and she is currently taking part in an IJP fellowship at Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich. She will join ITV Wales in 2022 as a Production Journalist.

She is deeply passionate about opening up access to the media industry, and helps co-ordinate the mentorship programme A Writing Chance.

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Yohannes Lowe

Yohannes is a multimedia producer for ITV News, writing articles, commissioning content and editing videos for the national website.

He started his journalism career in 2018 as a news apprentice at The Telegraph and won the NCTJ apprentice of the year award in the autumn of 2019.

While freelancing, he wrote articles for the Daily Mirror, The Guardian and The Observer.

As part of the Collaborative Community Journalism project run by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, he has just completed an investigation into the controversial adult social care cuts imposed by Greenwich Council.

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Shingi Mararike

Shingi Mararike is a news correspondent at Sky News covering a range of national and international news stories. He was previously at The Sunday Times, where he was hired as the paper’s first ever apprentice. Shingi’s reporting about children using corrosive fluids as a weapon kickstarted the paper’s “Acid Attack Britain” campaign, eventually leading to a ban in the sale of these substances to under 18s. He also reported extensively on child criminal exploitation linked to county lines drug gangs and covered the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020.

Since arriving at Sky News, Shingi has reported on stories that include the lack of support for sufferers of sickle cell anaemia, and mental health in the black community. He has also hosted and worked on a number of podcast episodes exploring issues that include knife crime and social mobility.

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Michael McBride

Mike is a broadcast journalist for BBC News NI’s Digital Team and is currently based in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. His job involves creating written and video news content for the Northern Ireland section of the main BBC News website.

Mike is primarily a self-shoot editor, specialising in producing digital videos for BBC News NI’s website and linked social media accounts. His team also creates radio packages for both BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Foyle. Most of the past year has been spent reporting on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of Brexit on border areas on the island of Ireland.

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Sophia McBride

Sophia has been a journalist with Sky News since 2017. As Foreign News Editor, Sophia oversees Sky’s daily international news coverage. She planned Sky’s 2020 US presidential election coverage, produced the foreign affairs podcast ‘Into the Grey Zone’, and reported on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

She was previously Europe Producer in Brussels, covering everything from Brexit and terrorism, to populist elections and Europe’s migration crisis. Sophia completed her NCTJ with the Press Association.

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Jane McCarthy

Jane began her journalism career many years ago when Fleet Street was the home of national newspapers, chain-smoking men (mostly) and dark drinking dens. After a brief flirtation with tabloid news desks, she worked for the Sunday Times magazine as a sub-editor before moving to Elle as Features Editor. Family life in the country lured her first into freelance writing for titles ranging from Tatler to the Times and then into teaching English and drama at her local comprehensive.

Now, in pursuit of a long-held ambition, she has been carving out a career in tv current affairs/documentary-making and is excited at being the oldest John Schofield Trust Fellow.

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Amar Mehta

Amar has been a news reporter at Sky News, covering a range of national and international stories for Sky’s website and mobile app, since March 2021. He regularly covers a variety of news stories, as well as breaking news and occasional live blogging.

After graduating from the University of Nottingham, with an MSci in International Relations and Global Issues in 2017, Amar completed a news reporter NCTJ at the Press Association with the help of the Journalism Diversity Fund.  Amar was previously a reporter at Newsquest – covering local news in Richmond, Twickenham and Wandsworth and later moved to B2B magazine TheLawyer, where he covered litigation and the Bar. He has previously spent time freelancing at The Telegraph and music magazines, London in Stereo and Clash.

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Venetia Menzies

Venetia is a journalist and photographer reporting on domestic and international news for The Times and The Sunday Times. She has previously contributed to the BBC and The Guardian. She enjoys writing long reads that use data journalism, human stories and photography to make an impact.

Most recently, Venetia was a finalist in the Amnesty Media Awards as a new journalist for her story ‘One woman’s journey into modern slavery’ for The Sunday Times.

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Anna Michaux

Anna has been working at 5 News since August 2020, freelancing on the newsdesk before becoming a permanent member of staff in May 2021. She is an assistant news editor but sometimes switches input for output as a producer.

Before joining ITN she was a researcher at a production company, working on BBC World Service radio documentaries with a focus on ethics and religion.

Anna has a BA in Philosophy and Politics from Manchester Metropolitan University and she graduated from the University of Salford with a distinction in her MA Broadcast Journalism in 2019.

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Shantal Moses

Shantal is 28 years old and a mother of two beautiful children. She is very determined to make a change in people’s lives and loves to get involved in campaigns and charity work.

Shantal moved to the UK when she was 8 years old from Trinidad and Tobago. Coming from a less privileged background, she feels very strongly about never giving up and doing what is right. Shantal feels that journalism can truly make a change and she is willing to be the voice for those without one.

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Ravneet Nandra

Ravneet is a production journalist for ITV News Meridian, currently working as a reporter for ITV News Central where she reports on breaking news, live across the midlands. Her reporting has included COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the BAME community, injection spiking in nightclubs and fast fashion.

As well as reporting, Ravneet was the youngest news editor in the Meridian newsroom and regularly produces the flagship 6pm programmes, a role that requires good delegation skills and creative flair.

In 2020, Ravneet won the Outstanding Young Journalist Award at the Asian Media Awards.

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Áine O Donnell

Áine is a broadcast journalist and producer at BBC 5 Live. She joined 5 Live at the beginning of the pandemic but started her career at Radio Foyle.

She has experience as a reporter and digital journalist but loves nothing more than field production at an outside broadcast. She has produced award-winning programmes from cattle markets in rural Tyrone and the European Parliament on the day the UK left the EU.

She was part of the small team who launch the Colin Murray Show and podcast Midnight Meets at 5 Live all while working from home in Northern Ireland.

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Ellis Palmer Babe

Ellis hails from Birkenhead, Merseyside, north-west England. He has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair to get around. Ellis has had a varied career so far, starting off working across sports content at Sky. In 2017, he moved over to BBC News, where he has worked on a broad range of platforms – as an international news writer, a digital video journalist, producing for 5 Live and the BBC World Service, and in front of the microphone and camera too. Ellis is currently working as a producer for Newshour, a flagship BBC World Service news programmer, and pops up as a weekend news reporter slot for local radio stations across England.

When he’s not busy at work, Ellis can be found cycling around his town and the Mersey coast, watching Manchester City, and playing with his cat.

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Noel Phillips - GMB Correspondent, North America

Noel Phillips

Noel Phillips is Good Morning Britain’s North America Correspondent. He covers breaking news stories and oversees the newsgathering operation for the programme from New York.

Before joining ITV, he spent 18 months as a correspondent at Sky News. But it was at BBC News where he began his on-air career after graduating from university. Across TV and radio, he worked as a producer and reporter, covering a wide variety of stories including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Noel won the RTS Young Talent of the Year 2022 award.

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Lauren Pinkney

Lauren is a trainee journalist at Sky News and is completing her NCTJ whilst working in the newsroom. Since entering the newsroom in 2021, she has been involved in the Sky News Daily podcast, writing scripts, sourcing unique contributors and editing audio. She worked on episodes covering abuse in football, the cryptocurrency boom and the coup in Myanmar. She now works across TV output, building rundowns, producing packages and following breaking news stories.

Lauren helped deliver Sky News’ first in-person event, Big Ideas Live, which brought correspondents together with business leaders to discuss sustainable growth, unemployment and regional inequality.

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Monika Plaha

Monika is a reporter and presenter for BBC Look North. After winning Media Trust and ITV’s ‘Young Journalist of the Year’ she won a scholarship with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to study TV Journalism at City University in London.

She was a political reporter for ITN International ahead of the EU referendum 2016 and General Election 2017 before joining BBC Breakfast as a Broadcast Journalist. Her reports have featured across many BBC outlets including the World Service, Breakfast and the BBC News Channel.

She recently became a #LearnOnTikTok ambassador and mentors young people about the world of journalism and presenting! Monika is also a National Union of Journalists and BBC Young Reporter ambassador.

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Hannah Price

Hannah is a digital and broadcast journalist, who joined the BBC at the end of 2018.

While at BBC Three Hannah has broken numerous exclusives and undertaken investigations that have brought important issues affecting young people in the UK to light, including a documentary for BBC iPlayer on the student mental health crisis which she presented. Hannah specialises in covering stories on sexual violence and recently won a public recognition award for her work.

She graduated from University of Bristol with a Mathematics degree and suffers from ulcerative colitis – she’s passionate about journalism becoming more accessible to people with disabilities.

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Emily Pringle

Emily is a freelance Assistant News Editor and Producer at ITV News. As well as output producing and producing general news, she recently spent six months producing ITV News’ mental health coverage, resulting in an award nomination. Some of her work includes a look into the link between TikTok and eating disorders, as well investigations into mental health treatment in the UK.

Emily is passionate about connecting with case studies and diversifying ITV News’ coverage. She also has experience as a photographer and digital journalist, producing accessible news for young people on platforms such as Snapchat.

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Eirian Prosser

Eirian is a reporter for the Oxford Mail and Oxford Times, with a specialist focus on local politics. She is part of the second cohort of Facebook community reporters, a scheme that funds her to study for her NCTJ alongside her role.

Eirian has a keen interest in both UK and American politics. She graduated in 2020 with an English degree from King’s College London. While at university Eirian was editor of The Tab King’s, an online newspaper that focuses on telling students stories. She believes that student journalism is one of the best ways to get into the industry.

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Daniel Quinnell

Dan is an Assistant Producer and a Westminster enthusiast. Originally from Hastings, he moved to London to start his journalism career at MailOnline, and covered the 2019 general election.

Dan has now made the leap into broadcast, and has been part of the core team at NewsUK creating and shaping a brand new hourly bulletin programme, and preparing for the launch of talkTV. Dan has relished in the fast turn around and “start up” nature of the project giving him the opportunity to lead political output.

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Nimra Shahid

Nimra is an investigator at Global Witness, focusing on environmental issues including the links between tropical deforestation, financial institutions and human rights abuses. 

She was formerly at Bloomberg News, covering the bond market, financial crime and litigation. Prior to this, Nimra was a Google News Data Fellow at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and a Guardian freelance reporter. 

Her political coverage won her an Amnesty Media Award and saw her shortlisted for a British Journalism Award.

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Morgan Spence

Morgan is a 22-year-old journalist working for BBC News in Glasgow. After finishing secondary school, he joined BBC Scotland in 2017 as a production apprentice, working across TV, radio and live events departments. The following year he joined the BBC Scotland News digital team, specialising in shooting and editing bespoke video content for the BBC’s website and social media platforms. In 2019, he was shortlisted for Young Journalist of the Year at the RTS Scotland Awards.

He previously worked as a freelance stop-motion animator, producing short films for BBC Worldwide, the British Red Cross and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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Gino Spocchia

Gino is a US reporter for The Independent, covering both news and politics across North America, and has covered the 2020 presidential election from London.

He joined The Independent in 2020 following a two-year journalism apprenticeship at The Telegraph, where he worked in digital publishing and helped produce award winning WhatsApp coverage of Brexit and the UK general election in 2019. He also worked across the newsroom, including with the travel and foreign news desks.

Gino has a keen interest in politics in the UK, the US and Europe, and has ambitions of reporting abroad.

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Jamie Summers

Jamie is a journalist and producer at ITV News, where he mainly works on forward planning for upcoming news stories, and producing in the field. Some of the stories he has recently worked on include the link between head injury and dementia in professional sportspeople and gambling addiction among women and children.

Jamie is interested in health and science, the environment and sport, and he has a particular interest in investigative journalism. One day, he’d like to be an environmental correspondent. His route into journalism started as a reporter at a football magazine, before a short stint with NBC News.

Originally from the north west of England, Jamie now lives in London.

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Merlyn Thomas

Merlyn Thomas is a reporter working on climate change disinformation with BBC Trending. She started working at the BBC as a producer with BBC Radio 4 and BBC World Service. She has previously worked at The Daily Star in Beirut and Mada Masr in Cairo.

She speaks Arabic, French and Malayalam and is interested in the intersection of climate change and social affairs in the Middle East and South Asia.

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Melissa Tutesigensi

Melissa has worked at Times Radio since its launch in June 2020. She started as a Broadcast Assistant and is now working as an Assistant Producer on a range of programmes. Her writing has been featured in New Writing North’s New Narratives for the North East as well as in the award winning audio series, Anthems.

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Jessica Twist

Jessica is a journalist and output producer for ITV’s Good Morning Britain. She has previously worked on the News Features team where she was responsible for creating rigorous discussions, fiery debates and securing exclusive guests.

Before Good Morning Britain, Jessica worked at Loose Women and Channel 5’s, The Wright Stuff. She secured her first job in television after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a first class honours in Broadcast Journalism. Jessica has just accepted a new job on the news team at ITV’s This Morning.

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Zahra Warsame

Zahra is a broadcast and digital journalist for Channel 4 News, covering a range of national and international stories.

Since joining Channel 4 News, Zahra has secured exclusive interviews and put together a number of original features including covering the horrific drowning of 12-year-old Shukri Yahya Abdi; reporting on the Windrush scandal and an investigation into the toll COVID-19 has taken on the mental health of frontline workers.

For digital she created short form videos on Brexit, COVID-19 and global issues for YouTube, Facebook and Instagram which has been seen by millions of viewers.

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Tristan Werkmeister

Tristan is a video journalist and producer at The Associated Press in London. He produces international feature stories from other bureaus as well as his own UK-focused stories.

Previously, Tristan specialised in online disinformation and investigative broadcast formats for France Info and France 24. His stories exposed a parallel market of fake reviews on Amazon run by third-party sellers, the use of Israeli drones in Nagorno-Karabach, and a Trump supporter posing as a White House journalist on social media.

Tristan entered journalism via local print newsrooms and TV stations. He studied political science in France, as well as journalism in the US.

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Joanna Whitehead

Jo is a freelance journalist with a focus on LGBTQ+ lives, women, social justice, the criminal justice system, culture and travel. She has written for The Independent, The i, The Telegraph, DIVA magazine, Positive News, and The F-Word.

Before moving into journalism full-time in her late thirties, Jo worked in the criminal justice and not-for-profit sectors supporting victims of crime and has specialist skills, knowledge and experience in this area.

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Isabel Woodford

Isabel is a news and features reporter at Sifted (the Financial Times‘ sister publication). She was recently nominated for “UK Tech Journalist of the Year 2021”, following her investigations and coverage of European startups.

Prior to working at Sifted, she was published in The Guardian, Reuters, and The New York Times. Almost by accident, fintech and tech became her main beat (covering the Monzos and Revoluts of the world), becoming one of the few women covering the space.

Isabel graduated in History and War Studies from Kings College London in 2018, before completing a Masters at Oxford University. Her Masters thesis focused on the reintegration of female ex-combatants in Colombia, whom she spent time interviewing on the ground in 2019.

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Maria Zaccaro

Maria is a BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporter working in Southampton. She is a multilingual journalist, originally from Italy but began her career at the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton and completed her NCTJ diploma while in the newsroom. She has a track record in breaking exclusive news stories often exposing failings within public bodies. Maria also writes about local government, politics, health, social issues and transport, producing stories for newspapers, online, radio and TV – including the BBC and ITV. This year her live coverage of a 36-hour long public debate resulted in almost one million impressions on Twitter.

Maria was highly commended in the LDRS Awards 2020 for the Best Broadcast Category and has recently been named as runner-up Local Democracy Reporter of the Year at the Local Democracy Reporting Service Awards. She previously worked for Italy’s broadcaster RAI.

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