Submitted by Editor on Mon, 18/12/2023 - 09:58

The Scottish Beacon's Rhiannon J. Davies won the prestigious Georgina Henry Award at this year's British Journalism Awards, hosted by the Press Gazette on Thursday night.

Davies has been integral to establishing and coordinating the Scottish Beacon, which launched this summer. It is the first collaborative journalism outlet of its kind in the UK, with an aim to strengthen the independent community-based media sector and to bring stories from Scotland’s communities to a wider audience.

The Broughton Spurtle is a founding member alongside 21 other publication partners – from Shetland in the north to Dumfries and Galloway in the south. 

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Speaking about the project, the judges said: 

'At a time when local news publishers are under real pressure, The Scottish Beacon gives underserved communities a much-needed voice. It is a truly collaborative project that brings community-based outlets together to hold the powerful to account and to help strengthen democracy.

'Having already achieved an impressive amount in the short time it’s been running, we can’t wait to see what it brings next.'

Another of the Scottish Beacon partners, Migrant Women Press, run by Juliana da Penha – was also shortlisted in the same category.

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Speaking about the win, Rhiannon Davies, Founder of The Scottish Beacon and Greater Govanhill CIC said: 

'This recognition means a lot to me. I truly believe that the future of journalism is collaborative and that local journalism matters.

'Local journalism is an essential part of democracy and yet it is currently under threat. Most independent publishers operate on shoestring budgets meaning their future is precarious.

'I hope that more people will help to keep public interest journalism alive by supporting their local publications.'

The Georgina Henry Award is run by Women in Journalism UK and supported by law firm Wiggin LLP. It comes with a £4,000 prize fund, and winners are given a place on the Women in Journalism committee, as well as the honorary title of WiJ Fellow. 

While The Scottish Beacon received funding from the Google News Initiative to develop and launch, it has not yet received any funding for editorial work. This prize money will be used to develop collaborative reporting projects, investigating stories at a national level and working with partners to cover the local angles – to break stories with bigger impact.

The image above shows Rhiannon Davies collecting her award for Scottish Beacon. L–R Gaelyn Fuhrmann (Wiggin LLP), Rhiannon J. Davies (Scottish Beacon), Jane Martinson (Women in Journalism) and Kerry Godliman (awards host)  © ASV Photography Ltd.