Community journalists celebrated at NCTJ awards

Behind Local News
Behind Local News UK
2 min readMar 4


Winner Daniella Theis

Heart-breaking stories of families facing adversity led to a Scottish community reporter being named best in the UK.

Daniella Theis, who worked for the Greenock Telegraph as part of the Meta-funded Community News Project, won the category celebrating the work of journalists on the scheme at this year’s NCTJ Awards.

Daniella, now a freelance writer and columnist for Scottish daily The Herald, said: “Covering these stories meant so much andI’m so grateful to get this.”

Daniella’s portfolio included revealing the fear families felty over plans to shake up dementia day care, and the sad plight of a Ukraininan family stuck in a motorway hotel.

Paul McAuley, of the Liverpool Echo, was highly commended for entries including the Merseyside community with a love for leather and the horrific story of a man who was push into a church with a bible to release ‘gay demons inside him.’

Commended entries were:

Tom Bedworth, Warrington Guardian
Warrington garage leaves customers £60,000 out of pocket
Artist’s aim to reunite with work hung in Smoke restaurant

Megan Howe, Shropshire Star
Residents in Market Drayton fear isolation due to lack of bus services
‘Save our park’ — Shropshire residents rally to fight off developers

Ayokunkle Oluwalana,MyLondon
‘I visited Croydon’s new pocket homes no wider than a London Underground train but felt like I was in Doctor Who’s Tardis’
‘My daughter was given three months to live — I won’t let this Christmas be her last’

Albert Tait, Henley Standard
High street could become ‘ghost town’ in economic crisis, says cafe owner
Youngsters given chance to follow Ronaldo dream.

The Community News Project is a partnership between Meta, the NCTJ and regional publishers to support quality local journalism and connect with communities that have been underserved by the media.

More than 100 journalists have entered journalism via the scheme since it was founded four years ago.