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UCLan graduate recognised for outstanding journalistic talents

15 February 2013

Press Office

Natalie crowned Most Promising Undergraduate Student

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) journalism graduate is celebrating after being named the Most Promising Undergraduate Student of the Year at the Periodicals Training Council (PTC) New Talent Awards 2013.

Natalie Mortimer, who graduated from UCLan last year, won the award from a shortlist made up entirely of UCLan BA(Hons) Journalism graduates from the PTC accredited magazine route.

Natalie submitted three pieces of work, including one about the dangers of online dating that made the front cover of The Big Issue in the North, and impressed the judges with a “refreshing new take on regularly covered subjects.”

The winner wasn’t able to attend the awards ceremony in London as she currently works in Toronto, Canada, as an Executive Assistant for online publishing and marketing website Cyberplex.  She also continues to write on a freelance basis for The Big Issue in the North.

“I was so excited to hear that I'd won the New Talent award”

The 26-year-old, from Eccleston, said: “I was so excited to hear that I'd won the New Talent award, I was eagerly following the event on Twitter and couldn't believe it when everyone started congratulating me! I've already been asked to oversee the editorial on the website relaunch at work after my boss heard about the win, so I couldn't be happier.”

The PTC judges' citation said: “With superb range and versatility, Natalie delivers soft features and hard-hitting investigative pieces to an equally excellent standard.”

Francesca Dent, who is now taking an MA in Photography at UCLan and Emma Gordon, who landed a job as assistant editor on the John Lewis Chronicle in Newcastle within a week of finishing the course, were both named as runners up in the Undergraduate Most Promising Student of the Year 2013 category.

It is the second year in a row that UCLan has dominated this category with all three shortlisted entrants coming from the University. The inaugural event last year saw 2011 graduate Stacey Bartlett crowned as the winner.

“I am a very proud tutor who knows they will do well in a creative, dynamic and fulfilling industry”

UCLan senior lecturer and MA Magazine Journalism course leader Cathy Darby said: "The short list was a magnificent hat trick for UCLan for the second year running. It reflects our students' abilities, versatility and willingness to go that extra mile in research and interviewing.

“I am a very proud tutor who knows they will do well in a creative, dynamic and fulfilling industry. It's good to show that talent doesn't stop north of Watford Gap!"

The PTC New Talent Awards include 17 categories that are open to anyone who is a first-time professional in their field with fewer than two years’ experience in their role, or one for editors.

Awards host Miranda Sawyer, presenter of BBC Two’s The Culture Show who started her career 25 years ago on Smash Hits, said: "Magazine journalism is the best job in the world.” 

Barry McIlheney, CEO of the Professional Publishers Association, praised all those short listed saying "there is nothing quite like being singled out and acknowledged as an outstanding practitioner of your craft by your peers.”