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BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has launched its inaugural student journalism awards aiming to discover and acknowledge the best in student media.

The BBC Radio 4 Today Programme Student Journalism Awards will celebrate students across a range of individual and team categories.

The winners of the two most prestigious awards will be offered paid employment with the BBC.

The winner of the Student Journalist of the Year Award will be offered a position on the BBC News Journalism Trainee Scheme as the Today Programme News Trainee, a role that will involve placements on Today and at various departments within BBC News.

The winner of the Today Programme Apprenticeship Award will be offered a position in the BBC News Digital Journalism Apprentice Scheme as the Today Programme News Apprentice, a role that will also involve placements on Today and will work towards a level three diploma in journalism.

Forming the judging panel is Today’s Editor, Sarah Sands, and the programme’s five presenters – Mishal Husain, Martha Kearney, Justin Webb, Nick Robinson and John Humphrys. In addition to the team, the other judges are the BBC’s Media Editor – Amol Rajan, Janine Gibson – Editor in Chief of Buzzfeed UK, Isabel Hardman – Assistant Editor of The Spectator, Charlie Cuff – Deputy Editor of gal-dem, Deputy Editor Emma Tucker and Columnist Janice Turner from The Times, and author and Editor-at-Large for the London Review of Books, Andrew O’Hagan .

The awards highlight a desire to champion new talent and also recognise Today’s long connection with student audiences. This year alone, Today has had outside broadcasts from Kent, Glasgow, Sheffield, Aberystwyth and Warwick universities, with more planned.

Sarah Sands, Today Editor, says: “We are delighted to launch the Radio 4 Today Programme Student Journalism Awards. The Today programme is the home of ideas, debate, analysis and challenging thinking. Our universities are where ideas and assumptions need to be tested and freely discussed. We are looking for the next generation of Today programme journalism in our universities and colleges – the talent is there, it is up to our judges to find it.”