A Stirling University student has been shortlisted by Amnesty International UK for the 2012 Student Human Rights Reporter of the Year Award.
Boel Marcks von Würtemberg, Charities Officer of the Students’ Union, will attend the prestigious Amnesty International UK Media Awards on 29 May.
The competition was open to all students in the UK. Broadcast entries could be up to ten minutes in length, while written pieces could be up to 2,000 words.
Von Würtemberg, a fourth year Journalism student, wrote an article about two Hamas parliamentarians, who have been imprisoned and treated non-democratically for executing their democratic rights.
She said, “I heard about the awards, but I did not really know much about them. I went to Israel for my dissertation, so I decided that I would write about something I saw there. Entering the competition was not something I thought about at the beginning.
“The two parliamentarians have been democratically elected in Jerusalem, where they are from, but instead they had a choice between going to prison or leaving the country. They went to the International Red Cross Headquarters, which is international territory. They have been living there for the past year and a half, trying to work from there; but they cannot step outside because they would be arrested.”
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said, “Journalism plays a fundamental role in the exposure of the abuse of human rights across the globe. “The overwhelming response to this year’s competition demonstrates the continuing commitment of UK students to this cause.”
Von Würtemberg agrees with this statement. She said, “It is good to raise awareness. Most people do not get the opportunity to meet these people or even think about these issues.
“In September, I am starting a masters in Human Rights and International Politics. Ultimately, I would like to be a human rights reporter. This is a big step in the right direction.”
Von Würtemberg is one of the founders of Amnesty International Stirling and is still an active member. “For the Amnesty group in Stirling, it just raises awareness. Since we are a fairly new society, it is good to let students know we exist. I would just like to see the Society continue to grow after I graduate.”
The entries were judged by a panel, including: Guy Gunaratne, founder of the award-winning documentary company CODOC, and BBC journalist Sean Coughlan.
The Awards Ceremony will feature another ten awards and 500 invited professional journalists and media representatives.