Oliver Duff

i Editor's Letter: 2014 Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists

 

Share

 

When I started work for The Independent in 2003 as an admin assistant, I was fortunate to have a seat on the newsdesk, next to the “backbench”. This is the hub of a newspaper’s production operation, where many of the  decisions about articles’ prominence and placement are made. It was possible for a young oik to pick up things from the news beasts’ slick repartee.

The key figure on the backbench was  a softly spoken man, noted for his calm in an industry given to histrionics: the paper’s Assistant Editor, Wyn  Harness. He had a measured detachment from unfolding stress, a dry wit  and the most infectious smile, when his whole face would wrinkle. I sat six feet away, and he was kind enough to encourage me as I began to find my feet – yet another young journalist he  helped to bring on without them realising. One day Wyn didn’t come in.  He had been diagnosed with an  inoperable brain tumour. He died within a year, on 3 October 2007.

As you can probably tell, Wyn made quite an impression on his colleagues and friends. We’re pleased to invite entries for the Wyn Harness Prize for Young Journalists. The competition is open to anyone aged 25 or under who is embarking on a career in journalism, either in training or their first employment. Please spread the word if you know someone who might be interested.

The challenge, in recognition of Wyn’s love of quirkier elements of  national life, is to write a news report of between 500 and 700 words about  an aspect of British society that rarely  makes the headlines. Our winner will  receive £1,000, have their work published in i and The Independent, and be  offered a two-week placement in our London newsroom. Entries should be  emailed to features@independent.co.uk by 31 January 2014. The judges will look for style, accuracy and an eye-opening and unusual subject. Good luck. And thanks to all those people like Wyn who help us out when we’re still wet behind the ears.

i@independent.co.uk

Twitter: @olyduff

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Deputy Editor's Letter:

Independent Voices, Indy Voices Rhodri Jones
A couple stand in front of a beautiful cloudy scene  

In sickness and in health: It’s been stormy but there are blessings in the clouds

Rebecca Armstrong
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor