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CPRE Sussex Environmental Journalism Awards 2012

Thursday, 31 May 2012 14:24

The CPRE Sussex Environmental Awards have been created to increase intelligent discussion around environmental issues affecting Sussex, drawing the public's attention to them. By using emerging journalists, we want to also draw the attention of younger people to the work of the CPRE.

We were thrilled at the very high journalistic standards shown by the students, the tough topics they tackled and the clarity with which they made difficult subjects accessible; a real tribute to the course leader Jan Goody and the tutors working on the City College Journalism courses. 

This however made life very difficult for our judges, Stuart Derwent, Justin French-Brook and Rodney Chambers!

Winner 2012

Rampion Wind farm
Damien Murphy

Runner up

We’ve got an attitude problem:
why attitudes to recycling need to change

Catherine Roberts

Runner up

The Rampion offshore wind farm: what can we expect?
Mathew Beech


Government Planning Policy puts Sussex countryside at risk
Alex Oxborough

Honorable Mention:

Living with drought
Damien Murphy

The judges comments

Damien Murphy’s Rampion entry is very clear and follows a logical pathway through the subject. He has done research in the right quarters and uses well-chosen quotations. One might also say that he is aware of who he is writing for in that he quotes CPRE before Friends of the Earth.

Catherine Roberts article on re-cycling is very interesting. The Coalition's decision not to pursue deposits for beverage containers is indeed very disappointing. Deposits result in much reduced littering and can bring very high recycling rates. However, despite having a Green administration, Brighton & Hove Council have one of the worst household recycling rates in the South East at 28%. Some councils are now well above the 50% mark. That would be an interesting issue to follow up with her councillor, too.

Catherine shows a good understanding of the waste debate, the article is very interesting, and it highlights a CPRE campaign issue.

Mathew Beech - we liked this article because it provided interesting facts in an easy-to-understand format, entertained both sides of the argument, and raised some new points for example wind turbines as a tourist attraction.

There were also some interesting quotes. Perhaps where it falls down is that it's a little 'vanilla' and doesn't challenge received ideas sufficiently - does wind power actually provide a reliable source of energy, are its costs (we're told astronomical) worth paying, but equally are there any realistic alternatives? We agree with his conclusion, however - whether you think Rampion will be a destroyer of views or a positive addition to the horizon is probably just a personal opinion.

Alex Oxborough has chosen a topic we all find complex and is commended for having a really good stab at it. We do admire her for tackling the beast that is the NPPF. Brave soul. She shows a better understanding of it than many of our members, so hats off to her. We also like her writing style it flows well.

Not all the data given in the papers is quite factually correct, but as drafts they all have considerable merit. All are trying to put over points on what are complex issues succinctly. As such the structure of the articles becomes the key and all are well very put together.

Congratulations to the staff and students and we look forward to a continuing fruitful collaboration with the course and City College Brighton & Hove.



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