Falmouth graduate wins International Committee of the Red Cross Young Reporters Award

Polly Fields, who received a distinction for her MA in International Journalism from Falmouth University this autumn, has won one of only five International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Young Reporters Awards for a piece produced as part of her masters.

Polly won the award for a 20-minute radio documentary produced about the life of a young, female streetcar racer in the West Bank city of Ramallah, In Ramallah I can Breathe. The focus is the lives of a group of young women, the ‘Speed Sisters’ who are the only female, Palestinian racing team. They have become serious competitors on the West Bank’s growing street-car racing scene that stretches across the battle-scarred towns of Jenin, Nablus and Hebron.

Polly, who has a special interest in reporting issues that young people face in post-war countries will spend a week in Liberia with ICRC delegations. She will talk to young people affected by armed conflict before reporting back to her peers. All five winners will then travel to Geneva in May on the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day, to present their ‘stories from the field’.

“It is a real honour to have received this award and it is fantastic to gain recognition for a piece of work that I produced while undertaking my MA,” said Polly. “The university encouraged us to ‘think big’ with our project ideas and gave us the confidence to embark on such stories. I will be carrying all the skills I learned at Falmouth with me as I embark on this next project and the rest of my career.

George Matheson, Postgraduate Programme Leader for the Department of Writing at UCF said, “It’s a fantastic achievement for Polly who beat off completion from around the world for this prestigious award.  The chance to report on such a major global story will give a huge boost to her career in International journalism.  It’s great to see UCF trained journalists helping to make a real difference to some of the planet’s most troubled areas.”

The Young Reporters competition was launched by the ICRC in August as part of the International Year of Youth and invited young adults between 18 and 25 to send in an article, photo essay, video or radio piece.

According to the ICRC the five winners stood out, not only because of the quality of the projects they submitted, and the communication skills they displayed, but also because of their humanitarian engagement and their ability to reach out and connect to other young people.