Top award for Gazette writer
A Gazette journalist has been highly commended in a national award celebrating the best in sexual health reporting.
Aasma Day was shortlisted for the Family Planning Association’s 2016 Rosemary Goodchild Award, which is open to all journalists across the UK.
The seven shortlisted entries included articles featured in The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.
Aasma won her nomination for her in-depth piece with retired trans headteacher Carolyn Mercer which was published in The Gazette in April.
The winner was Siobhan Fenton for her article “The UK’s abortion shame: Northern Ireland urged to stop prosecuting women under abortion ban” written for The Independent.
Judges Highly Commended Aasma’s article about Carolyn Mercer titled: “I didn’t just survive, I succeeded.”
The judges said: “We were also really pleased to see trans issues being highlighted in Aasma’s story and especially to find out that the article shortlisted was actually one of a series of stories published in the Blackpool Gazette and other newspapers.
“I think all of the judges were quite moved by the interview with Carolyn Mercer and could see the positive impact it would have on readers.”
Aasma said: “It is a huge surprise and honour.
“Having seen the calibre of the other entries, I felt privileged to have made the shortlist and never expected to be Highly Commended.
“I would like to thank Carolyn Mercer for trusting me and sharing her story despite her initial reservations.
“Her story is very inspirational and informative and the hundreds of overwhelmingly positive comments the paper received from Carolyn’s former pupils about what a fantastic headteacher she was spoke volumes.
“Hopefully, Carolyn’s story will help raise awareness and educate people on issues surrounding gender identity.”
After the announcement, Carolyn tweeted: “Excellent writer and well written piece. Deserving of recognition and success. #Sensitive #accurate.”