Are you the future of news?

Two young South Africans will travel to Glasgow to take part in the Aye Write! conference ahead of the Commonwealth Games. (Reuters)

Two young South Africans will travel to Glasgow to take part in the Aye Write! conference ahead of the Commonwealth Games. (Reuters)

The British Council in partnership with the Mail & Guardian is excited to announce that the Future News 2014 Competition is now open to the next generation of young journalists in South Africa.

The next generation of global journalists will gather in Glasgow for a unique opportunity to connect to the Commonwealth Games, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

An initiative by The British Council will see up to 300 young people (two of whom will be chosen from South Africa) between the ages of 16 and 19 take part in the Aye Write! Future News International Young Journalists' Conference on April 14 to 16 2014.

More than 14 countries including Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Zambia and the United Kingdom Home Nations will take part in the conference, which will be held at Mitchell Library in Glasgow.

British Council South Africa Country Director Colm McGivern said, "We are excited to be part of this cultural programme which builds on our existing work in skills for employability for South Africans. The two young journalists representing South Africa will have an opportunity to work with and meet the next generation of journalists from across the globe."

If you are passionate about news and telling your story, you could be one of the young journalists chosen to enjoy masterclasses from some of the world’s leading journalists on a range of subjects including: press freedom and ethical reporting, technical skills, investigating features and research and using digital technology and social media to report on your stories.

Mail & Guardian editor-in-chief Chris Roper said: "Free, ethical and compelling journalism is, unquestionably, a pre-requisite for the flourishing of democracies in Africa. And digital journalism is, if not the present, the very-near future for that journalism.

In my experience, it is young journalists who have to make the vital changes in newsrooms, and this is why the Mail & Guardian is very pleased to support the Future News 2014 initiative."

How to enter

All you have to do is show off your writing skills by writing an essay or a brief reportage (no more than 500 words) on the following topic:

Time, technology and the internet has changed the way we construct and consume news.
In your own words, what do you think it will take to be a "Future News Journalist" paying particular attention to the South African context?

Submit your entry to the following email address: [email protected] with the subject heading "Future News Competition 2014".

Your entry should include the following:

  • Your full name and ID number, contact details (physical address and contact number)
  • Occupation (if applicable)
  • If you are under 18, the name, age and contact details of your legal guardian or person (older than 18) who would travel with you should you be selected as one of the winners
  • Your 500-word essay
  • Any links to your blog / one or two samples of your work (if applicable)

Deadline: Friday, February 28 2014

Successful entrants will be informed on Friday, March 7 2014.

Competition rules

  • You must be aged 16-19 years and resident in South Africa to enter the competition
  • You must be able to commit to attend the full conference on April 14 to 16 2014 and be able to travel to Glasgow
  • You must have a valid passport
  • Only one submission per applicant will be accepted and late entries will not be considered by judges
  • Future News is aimed at would-be journalists who have not yet entered higher or further education
  • Candidates should preferably have excellent spoken and written English skills
  • Candidates should have a passion for journalism (across all media platforms)

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