UCLan journalism student scoops prestigious Steve Becker Award

8 October 2019
Chloe (centre left) receives her award from Kath Becker (centre right) with (from left) BBC Radio Lancashire News Editor David Saville, Assistant Editor Tim Padfield and Editor John Clayton.

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has been given a prestigious award set up in honour of the late BBC Radio Lancashire journalist Steve Becker.

Chloe Flint, from Blackpool, who has just started the final year of her BA Honours degree course in Journalism, has won the award in recognition for a news package she put together as part of her course on problems faced by dog walkers in her home town.

The Steve Becker Award was first established in 2016 in recognition of the long- standing BBC radio journalist who died earlier that year.

The award looks to identify a piece of outstanding student journalism and gives the winner the chance to have two weeks work experience at Radio Lancashire’s studios in Blackburn. In addition, the prize package will include work experience at the BBC North West Tonight studios at Media City in Salford.

Speaking about the motivation for her award-winning news story, Chloe, 26, said: “As a dog walker myself I was alarmed to find that owners in Blackpool were not allowed to let their dogs off the leads in some of the town’s key open spaces, such as on Stanley Park.

“So I thought it would be a good opportunity to investigate the story further and get the views of local people on the issue. To now get this recognition for the work I did is absolutely thrilling.”

Fiona Steggles, Senior Lecturer for BA Honours Multimedia Journalism at UCLan, said: “Chloe put together a really excellent news piece on the story and it is great to see her efforts recognised like this.

“We still use Steve’s Becker’s work in our teaching as examples of great radio journalism.  This prize in his name is a fantastic reward to a student who has worked hard and creatively to produce an outstanding radio package, and Chloe really deserves that accolade this year.”

The Steve Becker Award was set up in conjunction with Steve’s widow Kath, who helped to present the award to Chloe along with BBC Radio Lancashire Editor John Clayton, Assistant Editor Tim Padfield and News Editor David Saville.

Chloe added: “I always admired Steve’s approach to doing stories when I listened to Radio Lancashire and it was one of the reasons I became interested in radio journalism originally. I’m now hoping to get some really valuable experience in both radio and television journalism.”

John Clayton, Editor at BBC Radio Lancashire, said: “This award celebrates a much loved colleague whose passion for radio was there for all to see and hear. Steve brought his creativity and originality to every piece he made and loved nothing more than inspiring and encouraging the next generation of Radio Lancashire journalists. Chloe’s winning piece really captured his spirit.”

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