Bdaily Journalism Competition 2013 Winner: Natalie Leal
Natalie Leal from Bognor Regis, West Sussex, has won the Bdaily Journalism Talent Competition 2013 in conjunction with Brighton Journalist Works.
Natalie has a MA in Social Anthropology from Sussex University. She previously worked with the Social Services but found it emotionally demanding, and is currently working at Chichester University. After her career change, she decided to look at other options.
Yorkshire Editor Clare Burnett talks to Natalie about her future career and interest in journalism.
Congratulations Natalie! The topic of your winning article was environmentally friendly mobile phones, is the environment a topic of interest to you as a journalist?
“Yeah well I’m really interested in sustainable design and ethical business in general really, so I thought for this competition it would be good to take from that interest. I was just researching it and came across Fairphone which I hadn’t heard of before, but they seemed brilliant…
“I knew I would need to be interested in it to be able to write about it in an interesting way, that’s just how I go about it really, but to be honest I’m interested in quite a lot of stuff, so sometimes it’s quite hard to narrow it down.”
Where did you hear about the Bdaily competition?
“I actually hadn’t written for Bdaily before. I heard about the competition through Brighton Journalist Works, they sent an email out saying there was this amazing competition and we could win a free place on the course. I just thought I’d give it a go, not really expecting to win.
“I thought it’s good experience anyway, and I saw you could publish on the Bdaily website as well, so if nothing else I’d get an article out there and it’s good experience, so I didn’t have anything to lose.”
..and how did you find the process of putting an article up on Bdaily?
“That was really straightforward, really simple, it kind of walked you through it.”
Was it specifically business journalism, or journalism in general that made you want to enter the competition?
“I was mainly interested in journalism in general, but I was surprised how much I got into doing business journalism through doing this competition. I hadn’t really had much experience of that before, so that was quite a nice surprise, and definitely something I’d look at in future”
“I finished uni about 10 years ago and then I was working, then I went back to university when I was 31 to do a Masters at Sussex, so I did that alongside working.”
What does it mean to you getting on this course?
“I wanted to do the course before, finances held me back really, but this was brilliant, because it means I get to do the course I wanted. I’ve been sent a reading list as well which is really exciting”
She said: “It is quite exciting to go into journalism at this point in time, because it is all changing so much, I know a lot of people are scared of the whole digital thing, but I think it opens it up a bit more and I think thats quite a good thing. It just feels freer and more open, I think thats a good thing really.”
She said “I thought I’d like to concentrate on other things, and this competition has given me a chance to do this… I just want to see where it leads, I’m going to keep an open mind at the minute.”
She will receive a fully funded place on Brighton Journalist Works 14 week Fast Track NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, as well as a special promoted columnist area on the Bdaily site for 3 months to kick start her career.
Follow Natalie on Twitter here @Natalie_Leal.