City University

City University is handing this year's XCity Award to Lourdes Garcia-Navarro for her coverage of the Arab spring

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A former international journalism student of City University London has been named as the winner of its XCity Award, in recognition of her coverage of the Arab spring for National Public Radio in the US.

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro was announced as the winner by the university today, which congratulated her on her reporting from Egypt and Libya over the past year.

In a report on her win by XCity Magazine, she said she is "deeply honoured and touched to get the award from City", which will see her receive a £500 prize. She added that it has been a "really painful year for the community who report in the Middle East".

In Libya she said she "was often the first journalist that many of these people had seen".

"They were crying and hugging us and just absolutely ecstatic that we were there to tell their story."

Heather Purdey, former head of City’s International Journalism MA course, said "everyone who taught Lulu [as she is known to friends] remembers her".

"Her year was very strong but even so she stood out as someone who was determined to make her mark. I've followed her career with interest and it is no surprise to me that she has been honoured in this way. Her courage, determination and professionalism have shone through in everything she’s done and she is a great credit to the International Journalism MA."

This is the second time the award has been presented, which was awarded to Guardian data journalist Simon Rogers last year.

The university said the award "recognises the work of City University London alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to journalism in the past year".

Lourdes was one of six shortlisted journalists, who have been profiled by the XCity Magazine in the past few days, including Ramita Navai, for her Unreported World reports for Channel 4, Ben Whitelaw, co-founder of Wannabe Hacks and communities editor at the Times, Marianne Bouchart, founder of the Data Journalism Blog and Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Iranian correspondent for the Guardian.

Another shortlisted journalist, Zoe Smeaton, who graduated from the university's magazine journalism course in 2007 was highly commended by the judges for her Fight for Fairness campaign, launched in Chemist and Druggist magazine.

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