Westminster graduates sweep BBC prize

Recent graduates from the postgraduate journalism course at the University of Westminster have won all three awards in a one-off competition to mark the 25th anniversary of the BBC Radio 4 investigative programme File On 4, writes Wale Azeez.

Samantha Washington and Phillip Kemp won the gold award for the best investigative radio documentary for their exposé on the recruitment tactics of the Church of Scientology.

Washington is pursuing a career in financial broadcasting, while Kemp is working as a reporter for Wessex FM in Dorset. Both have won six weeks’ work experience on the programme.

The silver award went to Emma Jones and Louise Champ for their feature on the drug ketamine – often used for tranquillising horses, but increasingly being abused by young clubbers. Jones is working at BBC Radio Derby while Champ is freelancing with BBC Radio Wiltshire.

An examination of the animal liberationists’ campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences won the bronze award for Rebecca Fielding and Charlotte Cross. Fielding is now working for GWR at Chiltern FM and Cross is freelancing for British Forces Radio.

The judges also gave an award for outstanding merit to undergraduate Nicola Rees from the University of Central Lancashire, who produced “a beautifully crafted and compelling programme” on the controversy over hare coursing at the Waterloo Cup. Rees is about to start work at BBC Radio Leeds.

The judges were the programme’s editor, David Ross, Paul Kenyon from BBC One’s investigative programme Kenyon Confronts and Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden.

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