NEW! Schools Journalism Competition 2019

by Guest Contributor
2018 winners on the theme ' Migrants are our neighbours'

2018 winners on the theme ' Migrants are our neighbours'

Marking the Feast of St Francis and following on from the success of last year’s inaugural Columban Schools Journalism competition, the Columbans have launched a 2019 competition with the title: ‘The Challenge of Climate Change’.

Students aged 15-18 inclusive are invited to write an article or make a video report that informs and raises important issues on the topic. Two separate competitions will be held, one for students in Ireland and one in Britain (England, Scotland, Wales). Each has two categories – writing and video.

Closing date for entries: 8 February 2019

The objective of the competition is to encourage students to use their journalistic writing and mobile skills to look at a topical issue which is relevant to society today and resonates with both Catholic Social Teaching and Columban mission. The Pope’s environment encyclical of 2015, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home, is a major inspiration.

High-profile judges from the world of journalism have been secured for the competition.

In Britain, the judges are:

John Vidal, a journalist who was environment editor at The Guardian for 27 years.

Ruth Gledhill, a multi-media Editor at The Tablet. Before that she was the religion affairs correspondent for The Times.

Nick Benson, senior reporter at The Universe Catholic weekly newspaper.

Josephine Siedlecka, founder and editor of Independent Catholic News.

Tom O’Reilly SSC, Columban priest and writer with experience of Columban mission in Pakistan.

The winning articles and videos will be announced in Columban media on 15 March 2019, and some will feature in the Columban Far East Magazine.

Columban Missionaries believe the crisis of human-induced climate change, which threatens all life on Earth, is a key moral issue for the Churches. Climate Change raises serious spiritual and ethical concerns about the distribution and use of our planet’s finite resources, the destruction of biodiversity and the web of life, and wasteful lifestyles. The competition aims to help young people engage with these issues.

Irish Columban Fr Sean McDonagh – one of the judges in Ireland – is known around the world as an eco-theologian and writer who works to raise awareness on the connections between justice and peace issues, environmental sustainability and faith.

Fr. Sean is an outspoken critic of policies that allow for the systematic degradation of the environment, linking them to global poverty and the increased suffering of the poor. Fr Sean is the author of numerous articles and nine books including Climate Change: The Challenge to All of UsGreening the Christian Millennium Care for the Earth, Dying for Water and On Care for Our Common Home – Laudato Si’

The Columbans are delighted that video footage from Operation Noah, CAFOD and the Global Catholic Climate Movement have been made available to the competition to help young writers explore the issue of climate change and faith.