A remarkable number of entries arrived from all over the world for this year's Young Journalist Award – Cameroon to Colombia, Ukraine to Uganda and Egypt to Ecuador. Each entrant needed to submit a portfolio of three published pieces of work produced in the 12 months preceding the deadline for submissions which was August 12th, 2022.
In partnership with the UK Foreign Press Association (FPA), the annual award enables journalists aged 30 and under, from countries with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of less than US$20,000 to send in their best stories.
Thomson Foundation judges looked over the entries and selected the shortlist based on criteria including originality, endeavour, interest to audiences, and the anticipated or actual impact of the story after publication or broadcast.
We can now reveal the shortlist.
Behind bars in a civil war is the subject of one of Najm Al Dain Qasem’s, stories. His report highlights the case of female detainees who are denied release from prison in Yemen after serving their sentences, under the pretext of custom, protection or family abandonment.
Every time a tyre treads over a pothole, Guatemala loses money, says Carlos Raúl Kestler. That is the main idea behind his investigation "Broken Connectivity", a series of three multimedia reports highlighting how the deterioration of the road network damages tourism, social development and commerce in the country.
In India, Yashraj Sharma, looks into why daughters are not wanted. A preference for boys, who carry on the family bloodline and inherit wealth, has always existed in Indian society. But the question he raises is how this can be resisted on the ground.
A thankless task. In rural India, Sanket Jain reports on how maternal healthcare falls to women workers who have the barest minimum of resources. And while the families of those they save are thankful, the government barely acknowledges them.
Meanwhile, Paul Oommen, investigates a top Indian bureaucrat’s daughter’s extravagant wedding and how a significant part of it was billed to a mystery company. In pursuit of the money trail, Paul also reveals how a Hyderabad-based government contractor was intimately involved in the planning of the wedding that was spread over five days in multiple luxury venues.
‘A rape forgotten’ is the headline for Jyoti Yadav’s story as she tracks down India’s Mathura who, fifty years on, is still waiting for justice, though her case has paved the way for legal reform.
In one of her stories, Olesia Bida from Ukraine follows the harrowing account of a young girl from Mariupol whose life changed abruptly on February 23 after Russian shelling turned her house, which was once a shelter, into a ruin.
Though officially expelled from Serbia in 2021, US right-wing extremist Robert Rundo has managed to forge ties with a host of like-minded individuals and organisations active in Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina, reports Nermina Kuloglija.
Pakistan sees thousands of cases of domestic violence against women every year and the issue is most evident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, one of the four provinces of Pakistan. Jamaima Afridi, in one of her stories submitted for the award, uncovers the attitudes that only serve to normalise domestic violence.
In Nigeria, Alfred Olufemi, investigates the violence in central Nigeria, which is now one of the country’s deadliest security threats after Boko Haram in the northeast and banditry in the northwest.
Among Malaysia’s Choon Chyuan Low’s stories is one on the struggling fisherfolk disillusioned with Malacca politics. Their gripe is with several reclamation projects in recent years that have proceeded regardless of who is in power. The projects, they say, have damaged the ecosystem and environment, driving coastal marine life away and hurting their livelihoods.
What happens next
Independent judges at the FPA will select their three finalists from the 12 entrants on the shortlist – to be revealed in October – who will be vying for the coveted Young Journalist Award on 28 November at the prestigious FPA Awards gala dinner in London.
Connect 6: That’s not all. To mark six decades of the foundation, our three finalists as well as the next three highest in our shortlist will have the opportunity to be mentored for six months by six established journalists from our alumni.
For our 60th anniversary, there’s an added bonus which we’re calling ‘Connect Six’.
Shortlist of six announcement: w/c 3 October 2022
Three finalists announcement: w/c 10 October 2022
Young Journalist Award winner announcement: 28 November 2022, FPA Awards
For more information on how the Young Journalist Award works, please see our competitions section. The competition will reopen in July 2023.