The best of the new generation of web journalists will be celebrated at the Press Gazette Student Journalism awards this month.

Four UK students have been shortlisted for the Online Journalism Award, to be presented by Press Gazette Editor Ian Reeves at The Brewery in Chiswell Street, London on 25 June.

The Press Gazette, a trade publication for journalists, established the awards last year specifically for journalism students. "We wanted to give encouragement to them and recognise that there is some very good work being done at student level," Mr Reeves told dotJournalism.

"This gives them a forum and makes them feel a part of our community."

Shortlisted students in all categories will be invited to the event where winners will be presented with a £500 prize. An overall winner will be awarded a further £500, and one journalist will be chosen for a two-week work placement at The Press Gazette.

Anna McDermott, final year MA Journalism Studies student at University of Westminster, was shortlisted for the Online Journalism award for her BBCi coverage of women's issues in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ms McDermott, a mature student with experience in an international development charity, felt it was important to highlight the plight of women refugees - a subject that had often been overshadowed by the war in Iraq.

"I tried every newspaper and many other avenues. Eventually BBCi took on my work, which was quite brave of them. But I feel these are important issues and they always get left behind," Ms McDermott said.

After completing her course, Ms McDermott plans to continue to work freelance. She has previously covered property and tenants rights issues, and contributed to the website of the Commission for Racial Equality.

Helen Groom, 23, has also been shortlisted in the online journalism category. "I'm absolutely delighted. It's really flattering and will also hopefully help me find employment," she said.

Ms Groom has just completed the post-graduate diploma in Journalism at Westminster University and is now looking for a job in journalism. "I'd like to work full time when I finish the course so I'm in an environment where I can keep on learning," she explained.

Ms Groom's submissions for the award included an interview with Lhakpa Sherpa, a Nepali who has climbed Everest five times and now works as a security guard on her university campus in Harrow.

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