Journalism Diversity Fund recipient shortlisted for national radio award

A former Journalism Diversity Fund recipient has been shortlisted for a prestigious national commercial radio award in the upcoming Independent Radio News (IRN) Awards.

Sophie Mei Lan, who received a 2012-13 Journalism Diversity Fund bursary, is being recognised for a multimedia package including audio made during her post-graduate diploma about the sexual exploitation of children, featuring an interview with a former sex worker who had been abused on the streets.

She said: “I was delighted when the news editor nominated my piece but completely shocked to be shortlisted.

“I didn’t think personally the interview was the smoothest I’ve ever done but it was the most real. And the survivor I spoke to was very eloquent – strong, but touching at the same time.”

The annual IRN awards (in association with Sky HD) celebrate the outstanding efforts of the people involved in providing first class news and sports coverage to the commercial radio network.

This year’s event on 27 March will be hosted by Sky News and Sky Sports presenter Sarah-Jane Mee.

Tim Molloy, managing director of IRN, said: “We have had a record number of entries this year, and the standard has been extremely high.

“It shows that commercial radio has a real talent for connecting with its listeners and keeping them informed and entertained. I wish the nominees the very best of luck.”

Winners will be announced across ten categories including the new Best Entertainment Coverage, Best Interview and Best Student Journalist of the Year.

Sophie, who completed her journalism studies at the University of Salford, is now working as a reporter across the Wakefield Express, Pontefract and Castleford Express and South Elmsall Express, as well as freelancing for human rights blog, Verita Magazine.

She called the help of the Journalism Diversity Fund “invaluable” and added: “It’s so great that there is an organisation championing diversity in a news room, something I feel very strongly about.”

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