Journalism student wins award from the Solent Branch of the National Union of Journalists
A journalism student from the University of Portsmouth has been awarded this year’s Bob Norris Award for Achievement in Journalism from the Solent Branch of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Verona Parker, 29, from Winchester, was recognised by the prestigious awards scheme, which was created in memory of the former journalist and champion of journalists’ rights. Three student were nominated from each of the three main institutions providing journalism training in the Solent region - the University of Portsmouth, Solent University and Highbury College. Each student was nominated by their respective lecturers for making exceptional progress, achieving highly, or for contributing significantly towards their year group.
Each student receives a certificate, a bespoke trophy created by The Maker's Guild Portsmouth, and a monetary award in recognition of their achievement.
With everything that has happened over the last few years politically, socially, and within my personal life, I have felt increasingly motivated to dedicate my writing to these pressing topics, particularly the rights of transgender people and other minorities.
Receiving the award
Verona, who is studying Journalism with Media Studies at the University of Portsmouth said: “I feel overwhelmed but in a good way. With everything that has happened over the last few years politically, socially, and within my personal life, I have felt increasingly motivated to dedicate my writing to these pressing topics, particularly the rights of transgender people and other minorities.”
In support of Verona's nomination, Ian Tapster, Journalism Course Leader and Principal Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Portsmouth, said: “Like Bob, Verona is a passionate supporter of social justice. Through her outstanding journalism and academic work, she offers critical and nuanced perspectives that challenge outdated norms and promote the interests of marginalised groups. This is epitomised by her outstanding dissertation that examined how the British press perpetuates a hostile attitude towards transgender people.”
About the award
The awards scheme was launched by the Solent branch of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in tribute to their cherished late colleague and former chairman, Bob Norris, in 2020.
Bob’s widow, Pauline Norris, a former journalist and Chair of the Solent branch of the NUJ of Earnley, Chichester, said of the winners: "Now in its second year, I am delighted to see that the calibre of young journalistic talent coming out of today’s universities and colleges is as high as the inaugural year of the Bob Norris Award for Achievement in Journalism."
"As society begins to return to normal following the pandemic, there has never been a more important time to celebrate and welcome new talent into our field, as well as support the critical work of the union, which continues to help our other colleagues facing crisis or misfortune."
All of the winners have been extremely worthy of their awards. I am particularly impressed and touched by the unique challenges these young professionals have overcome in their own ways. Bob would have been proud of them.