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16 May 2012

Proud and Humbled

UPDATED 18 MAY

I'm delighted and honoured to have won the BBC Developing Talent 'Achievement' award for 2012.

I know how much great work goes on across the region in all the training institutions with which the BBC has partnership arrangements. I know, and greatly respect, the previous winners of the Achievement award so it's a real privilege to have been judged worthy of the accolade.

This isn't the time to get on a soapbox and start haranging my readers. It's a time to be humble and grateful and to say thank you to friends and talented colleagues who've made it possible over the past 20 years - including the managers at Leeds Trinity University College who indulge an unconventional and maverick tutor who wakes up every day surprised he's supposed to be a 'university academic' with a scary title like 'Associate Principal Lecturer'. In reality I'm just a radio enthusiast who got too old for the front line and had a lucky break into training.

I'll post some pictures from the award ceremony in the Gallery once I get copies sent over. The event was held in the Philharmonic Hall at BBC MediaCity in Salford as part of a conference hosted by One World Media.

I like dealing with passionate people and there's no doubt the guys from OWM care deeply about what they do. They also pay for students with great ideas to report from around the globe.

I was gobsmacked to find that Leeds Trinity undergraduate finalist Philip Wood is off to Kurdistan shortly to make a film on the plight of women fleeing from Iraq. Philip's not one of my students, although I'd be proud if he was. Andrew Edwards from BBC Radio Leeds was his tutor in his third year. I'm sure he'll do a good job and it's fantastic that One World Media offer these opportunities, which I previously knew nothing about.

They can rest assured they'll be getting bids from suitable Leeds Trinity postgraduates in the future.

For the record, Leeds Trinity has won the (separate) BBC Developing Talent Journalism award in two years out of the past three.

Look North's Emma Blackburn took it in 2009, whilst Sky's Jenny Wotherspoon lifted the trophy in 2011, and Radio York's Dave Edwards was nominated for the title in 2010.

I saw some fantastic entries from Lincoln University this year which deservedly won them the Journalism title. The quality of those entries has inspired my trainees to promise they'll do their very best to bring the glass brick back up the A1 this time next year. There's no doubt Deborah, Barney and the Lincoln team have raised the bar and will be a hard act to follow.

The awards day was my second visit to Media City in a week. I was also there on Tuesday for my first-ever visit to the gleaming new BBC facilities which inspired this Ode to Salford.

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