ITV News and Media Trust announce the finalists of ‘Breaking Into News’, a unique initiative fronted by ITV’s award-winning news broadcaster Charlene White and Ria Chatterjee for ITV News London.

Hadeel Elshak, a sixth form student and Grenfell fire activist from Hammersmith has been named the regional finalist for London, whilst Shanice-Kay Bolding, a Relationship Manager from Wolverhampton has been named the regional finalist for ITV Central.

Hadeel, 19, who also works with children’s charity Solidarity Sports, said: “The council and government’s response has been described as inadequate, with community-run projects taking over the job of the council. For my report, I will be investigating if this has led to distrust in the system for young people. I also want to explore whether their response acts as a confirmation of the narrative “us and them” and, if so, what is the effect on the future of politics?”

Shanice-Kay said: “I am exploring the idea of ‘Working Single Parents’ located in my local area of the West Midlands. I want to look at the potential stigma they still face from society in the UK, the help that’s out there for them, which they may not know about and the negative and positive aspects of being a single working parent. I am also keen to gain an insight into how it affects their children.”

It’s not often we are able to read positive news stories about our youth, black people or Muslims, and so it would be great if you could share this great news with your readers.

Michael Jermey, ITV’s Director of News and Current Affairs said: “We’re delighted by the range and quality of this year’s Breaking Into News finalists. The scheme is a wonderful opportunity for people with a passion for broadcasting to be mentored by an ITV Journalist to bring their story to air. Past finalists have found it a great experience near the beginning of their careers.”

Su-Mei Thompson, CEO of Media Trust, said: “It is vital that the media industry is representative of, and speaks to, the diverse range of communities that make up their audiences. At Media Trust, we encourage talent from all walks of life, backgrounds, and abilities to pursue careers in the media. Programmes such as Breaking into News allow us to broaden the talent pool and give under-represented communities a voice. I can’t wait to hear the stories that this year’s finalists have to tell.”

Along with nine other finalists from ITV news regions across the UK, Hadeel will present her final news report to an esteemed panel of judges including Roohi Hasan (ITV News, Senior News Producer), Kate Watkins Tutor (Head of TV News Training, School of Media and Communication, Leeds University), Margaret Emsley (Head of News at ITV Calendar) and Jasmine Dotiwala (Head of Youth Engagement at Media Trust).

ITV Mentor Katie Oakes for ITV London says, “Breaking into News is a fantastic scheme which gives budding young journalists the chance to explore issues that matter to them – and get professional mentoring along the way. Hadeel’s idea was a very good one, and felt right to explore for the ITV News London audience.”

One lucky finalist will be selected and will be awarded £400 worth of journalistic equipment and the chance to have their local news report aired on ITV.

The overall winner will be revealed on 25 July 2018 at a special award ceremony in London.