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Meet the new generation of journalists making a mark


It's one of those points in the annual media calendar that early-career journalists await on the edge of their seats - and the moment has arrived.

We can now announce the shortlist for this year's Young Journalist Award - and what an exciting bunch this group is. As we navigate major global challenges from the pandemic to the climate emergency, the shortlist is a reminder of the powerful contribution journalists can make.

Supported by the UK's Foreign Press Association (FPA), Thomson Foundation has been searching for talent from around the world since 2013 and its Young Journalist Award enjoys a reputation as the premier prize for up-and-coming journalists from emerging economies.

Championing the woman leading the fight against climate change in El Salvador, documenting the dark and unsettling realities of child marriage in India and highlighting the transgender community being shut out of Malaysia's healthcare system are some of the stories told by the 10 talented journalists shortlisted for this year's award.

The Young Journalist Award enjoys a reputation as the premier prize for up-and-coming journalists.

The 10 have been selected by the foundation's judging panel, Helen Scott, Deborah Kelly and Hosam El Nagar, from nearly 200 entries from 55 countries. After the next rounds of judging, the winner will be announced on 29th November at the FPA Awards ceremony in London, which will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page.

For now, scroll down to meet the candidates, discover why the judges were drawn to each of them and decide on your favourite.

Illustration by Mahima Jain for her piece, No One Knows About Me. India's Left-Behind' Women

Carmen Valeria Escobar Castillo, El Salvador The judges particularly liked the story of environmental campaigner, Sonia Sanchez, whose fight illustrated the real problems in El Salvador. The piece was well written and structured and took the reader to the heart of the issues. Carmens other stories were about the textile workers turning a warehouse into a feminist space and the chilling case of the murdered and the missing Lima family.

Parth Nikhil, India Parth's stories revealed the devastating personal and financial consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in rural India and the judges were impressed by his investigation into child brides being married off as young as 12 to save families' money. His third story was about how the climate crisis is hurting farmers.

Samad Uthman, Nigeria One of Samad's pieces featured a timely story on a drug trial that went wrong 24 years previously. He caught up with the uncompensated victims and pieced together what had gone wrong in a meticulous investigation. Samads other stories were about the retirees being denied their pensions and the underserved communities drinking from dirty streams.

Shrouk Ghonim, Egypt Judges praised the brave and moving film from Shrouk about a transgender teacher's fight to be accepted; her approach to the Covid-19 story, by profiling the experiences of eight health workers living in fear but doing their duty, was similarly impressive. Her third story was about a major campaign to clean up the Nile.

Daniel Lutaaya, Uganda Daniel went undercover to expose child trafficking in rural villages. His investigation into the Ugandan private health system exposed a series of shortcomings and exploitations of patients and families desperate for care during the Covid-19 pandemic. Another of his stories documented the rate of human encroachment on Lake Victoria.

Kai Hui Wong, Malaysia Kai investigated corruption and environmental mismanagement in a waste disposal business, as well as trans-rights in Malaysian hospitals, showing a range of skills. She also documented the controversial mining operations linked to Pahang royalty.

Tatiana Pardo Ibarra, Colombia Judges praised Tatiana's investigation on a trio of stories; the illegal raising of beef cattle in protected areas, the sale of illegal shark fins and how indigenous people are at the mercy of gangs. All thorough and well written.

Md. Ibrahim Khalilullah, Bangladesh Ibrahim put himself in the picture in his video investigation into the lack of public toilet facilities in Dhaka (transcriptions available here). The judges liked his approach and felt the story was fresh and original. His other two stories were about the pure water crisis and water ATM booths.

Mahima Jain, India Mahima reported on the women left behind with no land rights by migrant husbands. It was thoroughly researched, a very human story and well presented. Her investigation into domestic violence worsening during the Covid-19 pandemic was similarly impressive. Mahima also presented a podcast episode about Indias farm laws and the threats to biodiversity as part of her portfolio of work.

Zuha Siddiqui, Pakistan Zuha's trio of stories - a trans TikTok star trading the sidelines for the spotlight, an investigation into a fake vaccine programme by the CIA during the hunt for Bin Laden which has led to vaccine hesitancy, and a look at new biodiverse farming methods - show great range and flair.

What happens next?

Congratulations to our 10 shortlisted entrants. It's now over to independent judges selected by the FPA - Inigo Gurruchaga of El Correo in Spain; Niaz Alam of Dhaka Tribune in Bangladesh; and Tinne Hjersing Knudsen of DR Nyheder in Denmark - to select three finalists to go through to the final round of judging.

The chosen three will be profiled on our website at the beginning of November and receive learning bursaries to the value of 1,000 each.


We are all affected by environmental issues and commend the shortlisted journalists who took the environmental theme in various directions.

And there are other names to note

This year, our Young Journalist Award took aim at the
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