A former journalism student from City of Wolverhampton College has hit the headlines after being named the best newcomer in a media awards event.

James Forrest, who studied for his NCTJ qualification at the college in 2013/14, was awarded the title at the Midland Media Awards, which were held at Villa Park on Thursday September 10.

The 32-year-old, who now works as a reporter for the Worcester News, beat off the competition from six other finalists, including those from television and radio.

Judges said: “James was a truly outstanding entrant. His story about a controversy over wolf-whistling of a young woman by men on a building site made a huge impact, getting into many of the national newspapers and creating a nationwide debate.”

James said: “I was delighted just to have made the shortlist, so to win was really special.

“Two years ago I left a good job and salary in a different sector to try and become a journalist – and at times I worried this move was a massive gamble.

“But to take home this award makes me feel like I made the right choice. I’m over-the-moon and really proud.

“I’d like to thank my college tutors and current employers for all of their support in getting to this position.”

Lecturer Dani Wozencroft said: “Both former lecturer Sue Green and myself are incredibly proud of James.

“He worked very hard throughout the course, above and beyond many others.

“We knew he was destined for good things but to see him win award after award is great, this latest accolade is another feather in his bow.

“It is no less than he deserves and we imagine this won’t be the last award for him.”

This is not the first time James has been singled out for his journalism skills. In February he was presented with the Johnston Press award for court reporting at the NCTJ’s annual Student Council event, and in April he was crowned Travel Writing Student of the Year.

The awards, which were held to recognise the talent of tomorrow in journalism and broadcasting, were organised by Cloud 9 Event Management as the flagship event of Birmingham Press Club’s 150th anniversary year.

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