The National Council for the Training of Journalists has set up an award to recognise “exceptional work” done by the new Facebook-funded community news reporters.
A total of 83 regional journalists will be eligible for the new prize once all positions in the £4.5m scheme, which launched earlier this year, have been filled.
The NCTJ, which administers the scheme, is encouraging community reporters to submit two pieces of published work with a supporting statement explaining their significance.
NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “We are thrilled to see the new reporters producing some outstanding work and having a real impact on their communities, which is what the Community News Project is all about.
“This new award gives them the opportunity to be recognised, alongside our student, apprentice and trainee award winners, and aims to further highlight the importance of the work they are doing to give a voice to their communities and extend news coverage in underreported areas.”
The community reporters’ work will be judged on criteria including human interest potential and the degree to which it engages relevant community issues.
They are also eligible to enter a number of other categories in the NCTJ awards as trainees.
Shortlisted journalists will be invited to the NCTJ Awards for Excellence gala dinner in Sunderland on 28 November.
It was revealed last week that more than 4,400 people had applied for positions on the community news scheme, working out as 53 people fighting for every role.
Facebook invited the first group of 33 community reporters to its London offices for a two-day training session in June (pictured).
The US tech giant is bankrolling the scheme, including the salaries, expenses and training costs for the new journalists.
Regional publishing giants Reach, Newsquest and JPI Media have been allocated the contracts for the bulk of the scheme’s reporters.