Broadcast Journalism student wins inaugural AJ Bell Journalism Award

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A third-year BA Broadcast Journalism student has been honoured with a prestigious award for her outstanding writing skills.

Mia Willemsen was the recipient of the newly instated Mark Gardner Award for Journalism, funded by investment management company AJ Bell. The award was established in memory of a valued AJ Bell colleague and aims to recognize and support aspiring journalists.

Mia's achievement, which was rewarded with a £1,000 cash prize, not only highlights her talent but also reflects the dedication and hard work she has put into her studies.

Her winning article, which delved into a deep and personal account of living with ADHD, impressed the judges with its unique voice, insightful perspective, and engaging style. Her writing not only demonstrated an understanding of the subject matter but also showcased her ability to connect with audiences on a personal level.

The award ceremony was held on Friday 16 February at our MediaCity campus and saw speeches from University and AJ Bell representatives.

Paul Duckworth, Lecturer in Journalism, who presented Mia with her award said: "This is great opportunity for Mia to not only get her work published in AJ Bell's Shares magazine but also to be financially rewarded for her insightful and thoughtful words. 

"Partnerships with our colleagues in industry are central to the work we do in journalism through work placement and through fantastic schemes like this. 

"Mia's work will stand as a tribute to Mark Gardner and hopefully kick her start her career."

Daniel Coatsworth, Editor at AJ Bell, described her writing as ‘honest and instantly full of personality.'

He said: "We were very impressed with Mia’s article. It was well-written, informative, and interesting. Mia has clearly thought about how money has shaped her life so far and how it will continue to do so. She referenced the importance of saving for the future while also engaging the reader with an honest and personal account of ADHD and the impact this can have on someone’s life. 

“It was an honour to award Mia the AJ Bell Mark Gardner Journalism Award, and we wish her the best of luck with the rest of her university course and starting a career in journalism.”

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.