Previous Geddes Prize winners include journalists now working for The Economist, The Times, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, Reuters, ITN, BBC radio and television.
Winner of the 2014 St Edmund Hall Prize
Third year student
I'm from Sydney, and returned there over the summer holidays, which is where I wrote my report. I am currently in the process of submitting the piece to a major Australian weekend paper (Sydney Morning Herald) and also plan to submit it to an oxford student magazine.
I am currently on my year abroad in Paris where I am studying Art History at the Sorbonne while also working at the Biblioteque Publique d'Information at the Centre Georges Pompidou. I'm starting to research a piece on Parisian Bathroom graffiti.
Winner of the 2013 Philip Geddes Prize
Reporter, Bloomberg News
I used the prize money to support an internship in Moscow, working on The Moscow News, an English-language newspaper that was abolished last year when RIA Novosti - the parent organisation - was purged of various liberal voices. I had a fun month improving my awful Russian and immersing myself in an unusual society. Two features that come to mind: reporting on the re-opening of the Moscow Cat Circus and the expansion of Google Street View in Russia.
Winner of the 2013 St Edmund Hall Prize
Deputy comment editor, the Daily Telegraph and Trustee of the Geddes Prize
It would only be fair to credit the Geddes prize with giving me a foothold on the journalistic ladder. After a brief period working in new media I was hired as the leader writer at the Daily Express and it was actually one of the trustees of the Geddes Prize who first put me in touch with the editor of the Express.
I received very kind words from the judges that helped to convince me I was on the right track when I (very occasionally) felt like abandoning hopes of Fleet Street. Sticking with it is a decision I will never regret. Without the prize I would not be working in journalism today. On a personal level I can think of no better way than that of summing up how much it has done for me.
Winner of 2012 Philip Geddes Prize
Media adviser to Evgeny Lebedev
I spent the money on a trip to Lagos, where I intended to report on the demolition of the Makoko slum. In the end, I was commissioned by City AM to write a more general article on rapid economic growth in the Nigerian capital, so I did that instead. I went on to become arts editor of City AM and City AM Bespoke magazine before moving to the Independent and Evening Standard as a features writer and adviser to the proprietor Evgeny Lebedev.
Winner of the 2012 Clive Taylor Prize for Sports Journalism
I am lucky enough to be able to combine my two great interests, politics and cricket. I was formerly an assistant comment editor at The Daily Telegraph and am currently a contributing writer for The New Statesman. I write on cricket for ESPNCricinfo, The Daily Telegraph and The Cricketer. My first book, ‘The Second XI: Cricket in its outposts’, analysing the sport in countries including Afghanistan, Ireland and China, is due for release in January 2015.
I used my award to fund several months of freelance reporting on county cricket. I was able to get work for ESPNCricinfo in the summer of 2012, writing both match reports and a Twenty20 round up based upon my experiences attending matches. Building this link proved invaluable for my career, and I am still a regular writer for Cricinfo today.
Winner of the 2011 Philip Geddes Prize
Reporter at The Daily Telegraph
A former Cherwell editor, Camilla is committed to a career in news and investigative journalism. She used her Geddes prize money to pay for flights to Ghana in the summer vacation, knocking cold on the doors of the Daily Dispatch and The Daily Graphic and persuading them both to give her internships that would give experience of reporting in a very different country. She has already had articles published under her byline in The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Financial Times, The Guardian and The Times. As a former Reporter of the Year in the Guardian Student Media Awards she has also spent a month's internship at the Guardian and, as a Murdoch Scholar, she has also spent three weeks reporting at The Times.
Winner of the 2011 St Edmund Hall Prize
Reporter at The Daily Telegraph
Isabelle was editor of The ISIS Magazine in Hilary 2011, and was a director on the board of Oxford Student Publications Ltd. Articles for TheISIS and the Cherwell include an interview with Christopher Hitchens, a Q&A with Nick Clegg and an investigative piece into WikiLeaks, after having interned with them in October 2010 during the release of the Iraq War Logs. This was picked up by The Times and Grazia, and led to appearances on Newsnight, Sky News and NBC News. http://isismagazine.org.uk/2010/12/the-war-on-secrets/
Winner of the 2010 St Edmund Hall Prize
Trainee, the South China Morning Post
I'm currently a "cadet" at the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong based newspaper. It's kind of a fast-stream program where we get assigned to various desks throughout the year. I got do some work on the protests this month, which was really fun. I came here after completing my MA in newspaper journalism at City University.
Before that, I worked as a teacher in China for two years, studying Mandarin and interning at a Beijing magazine in my spare time.
I graduated from Oxford (German and Czech) in 2011. I've written for The Independent, The New Statesman, The Times, The Beijinger, The Prague Post and Spiegel Online, among others.
Winner of the 2009 Philip Geddes Prize
Freelance science and technology journalist
It was a huge honour to win the Geddes prize in my final year at Oxford and it certainly provided a sturdy stepping stone from student journalism to new challenges beyond. A few years after graduating, I took the decision to become a full-time freelance journalist and have been reporting on science and technology stories for the BBC, New Scientist, The Economist, Wired and others ever since. I've had the benefit of being able to take encouragement from the Geddes prize throughout - and for that I am very grateful.
Winner of the 2008 Philip Geddes Prize
Features Writer, The Times
Winning the Geddes Prize kicked off my career in journalism. That first public recognition boosted my confidence and gave me something concrete for my CV. Without it I may not have stood out in my applications for a place on the journalism master's at City University; and subsequently for my first job on the Weekend desk at The Times.
It allowed me to go to New York in search of the stories behind the immigration process. For the first time this famously competitive and difficult career path didn't seem entirely out of reach.
Winner of the 2008 St Edmund Hall Prize
Political journalist for The Straits Times
Winning the St Edmund Hall Geddes Prize gave me a boost of confidence to apply to the Columbia School of Journalism in New York, where I spent an immensely fulfilling year earning a masters degree and learning the tricks of the journalistic trade. It also gave me the opportunity to take a brief but exciting trip to East Africa in the Summer of 2008, which showed me just how many stories there are in the world that good journalists are still needed to tell. At a time when I was growing increasingly worried about entering my desired profession, the Geddes Prize came as a welcome reminder that even as the media industry enters an uncertain moment, there will always be people and institutions who believe in, and will invest in, young journalistic talent.
Winner of the 2007 St Edmund Hall Prize
Asian markets reporter, Financial Times
Winning the Geddes Prize was a tremendous confidence boost. The award was the perfect way to round off a fantastic couple of years of student journalism and I'm sure it helped me get my current job at the Financial Times.
Winner of the 2006 Philip Geddes Prize
Egypt Correspondent, the Guardian
Of all the shortlisted applicants to the Geddes Prize in 2006, I was the last to be interviewed. I remember heading through the door and thinking that my pitch was going to have to be pretty lively to make any impression. In the end we just had a really engaging discussion about my idea: a journey out to New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, to assess the pace of reconstruction and to delve into the local man-made disasters that accompanied the natural one. The Geddes Prize gave me the opportunity to get out there and test my abilities as a journalist to the limit in a way that would not otherwise have been possible.
My trip to Louisiana gave me the confidence to throw myself into unfamiliar environments and start unpicking the tangled threads within. The following year, partly thanks to the Geddes Prize, I was awarded a paid internship at the Guardian. After leaving university I travelled overland down to Egypt and set up there as a journalist – soon I was reporting regularly for the Guardian from Cairo and I’m now their Egypt correspondent, with the privilege of being able to cover seismic events like the 2011 revolution, as well as pursuing my own projects.
The journey here has been hard, fun, often farcical, always intoxicating. The Geddes Prize was a great springboard for it all, and there are few better ways to take a gamble and throw yourself into something new.
Winner of the 2004 Philip Geddes Prize
Deputy Editor, the New Statesman and Trustee of the Geddes Prize
I always knew I wanted to be a journalist – it’s a licence to ask nosy questions. But at Oxford, I was a slow starter and only got involved with the student paper in the last term of my second year, rising to the dizzying heights of Features Editor the term after that. So when the opportunity came in my third year to apply for the Geddes Prize, I leapt at it.
I was jealous of the Teddy Hall winner that year, Mary Morgan, who used her winnings to go to Africa and work on something extremely worthy – while I stayed in Oxford and used the money to produce my own magazine, Oxide. It involved cajoling a lot of my student journalist friends into writing pieces after they’d just finished their finals and had sworn never to put a single word to paper again, so it certainly taught me how to be more persuasive.
It also taught me a lot about the craft of magazine production – paper weights and glosses, font styles and sizes, leading and kerning, and all the other minutiae that you don’t notice unless it’s done wrong and you can’t work out why your beautiful publication is now an eyesore. All those skills I still use today in my job as deputy editor of the New Statesman.
Winner of the 2001 Philip Geddes Prize
UK Economics Correspondent, Reuters
Winning the Geddes Prize gave a real boost to my confidence, and helped convince me that I should try to make a professional success of a university passion. I'm sure it was invaluable in getting me work experience at major national newspapers, and ultimately my first job as a graduate trainee at Reuters. Since then, I've worked as a foreign correspondent in Brussels and Frankfurt, reporting on the EU and the European Central Bank. Now I'm back in London - and still with Reuters - covering the latest travails of the British economy. I'd strongly recommend any Oxford student with a commitment to journalism to put in an entry for the prize.
Winner of the 1998 Philip Geddes Prize
Deputy Personal Finance Editor, Daily Telegraph
I am one of those people who never even wins Tombolas, so I can remember vividly my shock at being awarded the Geddes Prize. I was right in the throes of my Finals, so much so that I had to attend the Awards lunch in subfusc, and it meant a lot, in the middle of all of the Virgil, to be awarded something that spoke so vividly to the next stage of my life.The Geddes money allowed me to go to South Africa, where I wrote on how the Townships had changed and educational policy there. But most importantly it gave me confidence to go on with the gruelling round of work experience that is the lot of most wannabe journalists.I've been at the Telegraph over a decade now- working in a variety of capacities. My current job covering personal finance allows me to balance my career with the demands of two very young children - for which I am grateful. Lehman Brothers collapsed the day I returned from maternity leave and there hasn't been a dull moment since.
Winner of the 1997 Philip Geddes Prize
Nairobi correspondent, Reuters
The Geddes Prize gave me a huge break in starting a career in journalism by helping to fund a summer internship with Reuters in Kenya. I found myself covering riots in Nairobi, pitching questions to Rwanda’s president and learning to survive the round-the-clock trench warfare of wire reporting at the elbow of some of the best journalists I have met. Those hectic and memorable weeks opened the door to a traineeship at Reuters in London, and an eventual return to Nairobi as a staff correspondent. I remain immensely indebted for the Prize.
Co-winner of the 1996 Philip Geddes Prize
Author, contributor to the Guardian, NY Times, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle
It meant in the first instance that I could afford go to New York for a month and meet with editors I had been trying to persuade to commission me; obviously more persuasive than trying to do it remotely. More generally, it was a great confidence boost prior to getting stuck into job hunting, which can be tough after the 1,000th meeting. It's not as if you come out of Oxford with any relevant qualifications to the job per se; so winning the Geddes Prize felt like a vital recommendation. On a personal level, it was very heartening to meet senior journalists on the judging panel who were so encouraging to winners.
Co-winner of the 1996 Philip Geddes Prize
International editor, Newsweek
I won the Geddes Prize in 1996 while studying Classics and Italian at Corpus Christi and editing the Oxford Student newspaper. I used the money to fund a summer working for Reuters in Rome, an amazing experience that helped me get hired as a trainee at Reuters in 1997.
When you’re trying to break into journalism, internships are crucial for proving that you can do the job as well as making contacts in the industry. But we all know they don’t pay much, if at all. An award like the Geddes Prize can make the difference between a summer as a waitress or a summer learning and building up a file of great clippings to help you win that job when you graduate.
In Rome, I was lucky enough to work for a talented and generous bureau chief who became my mentor for the next 10 years. I worked at Reuters for 16 years in London, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Iraq and the United States. I transitioned from reporting to editing in 2010, working on enterprise and investigations and then as deputy top news editor for the Americas. In 2014 I moved to Newsweek where I am now the International Editor, based in New York.
Winner of the 1995 Philip Geddes Prize
Special Correspondent, BBC News
It is always exciting to win a prize. But even more so when you are just a student with no contacts in journalism, hoping to make it in a fiercely competitive world. The Philip Geddes Prize gave me my first mention in a national newspaper. "A lawyer's daughter from Leeds" was the description in The Daily Express, I think. That meant more to me than others, possibly, as it was the paper my mum read. But more importantly it gave me something significant to put on my CV. It told all the newspapers and TV programmes that I wrote begging letters to that maybe I was someone to look at. And for that I am enormously grateful. It was also, I think, recognition for all those late nights in The Cherwell offices, all the essays that had to be written at 4am because the paper wasn't finished. Justification that after all the moans from friends and boyfriends that the paper came before them, that someone in the form of this prize had recognised what I knew. That it was all worth it.
Winner of the 1991 Philip Geddes Prize
South East Asia correspondent, Guardian newspapers
I knew I wanted to be a reporter - or a photographer - or something similar, but was unsure exactly what and how and when. None of my family were journalists, nor any friends, so I had no contacts in the business. I'd done work experience at local newspapers but that was all. I won the Geddes Prize after heading off to Iraq in 1991 to try and cover the aftermath of the war during my second year summer break. It was a daft thing to do and I was lucky to get away with it unscathed. But the prize not only encouraged me to keep going, but gave me the means to do so.
A year later I had taken my finals and, with the money from the prize and the earnings of a summer job, was on my way to India where, 20 years later, I'm now based. I still have one of the pictures I took on my Iraqi trip on the wall of my office.
Winner of the 1991 St Edmund Hall Prize
Screenwriter and story consultant
Winning the Geddes Prize was an early endorsement of my ability to craft stories and I’ll always be grateful for that boost.
Winner of the 1988 Philip Geddes Prize
Author and academic
The Philip Geddes Prize shaped my life; it was because of the award that I chose to apply to St Edmund Hall, and it led to my first job in journalism at The Daily Express. My mother Bridget, an avid reader of The Daily Express at the time, read about the prize that had been set up in Philip Geddes’ memory, in the William Hickey column of the paper. She knew that I wanted to go to Oxford and that my ambition was to be a journalist so she gave me the article. From then on I knew what I wanted to achieve.
During my three years at the college I immersed myself in student journalism. I became Women’s Page and Features’ Editor on Cherwell and was co-editor of the Oxford Union’s Newspaper Debate. I also wrote as many articles as possible not only for Oxford student publications but also for my local newspaper in Torquay, The Herald Express. In my final year at Oxford I won the Geddes Prize. At the awards lunch I met Philip’s parents, Mr and Mrs Geddes; this reinforced the personal tragedy which lay behind the memorial award. As one of the early winners of the prize, I feel fortunate to have met Philip’s family. Mr Geddes was already suffering from Alzheimers disease and my lunch was one of the final Geddes events he attended. I knew Mrs Geddes for many years and saw her regularly at the Geddes Lectures. She was always chatty and cheerful and it was evident how important it was to her that her son was remembered in such a positive way.
The repercussions of winning the prize were more than I could have hoped. After the judging I remained in touch with Sir Nicholas Lloyd [Editor of the Daily Express and one of the Geddes Prize judges] and during my last months at university he invited me to write some features for the Daily Express.
When I finished my finals Sir Nicholas offered me a job on their women’s page. It was the most wonderful opportunity. I wrote an eclectic range of articles; I interviewed celebrities, tested make up, ran a campaign on dyslexia and generally had great fun. My most exciting assignment was being sent to cover the Czechoslovakian Velvet Revolution in 1989.
Although I am no longer a journalist, I am still grateful for the great opportunities the Geddes Prize provided; it gave me the best possible launch in my career.
Winner of the 1989 Philip Geddes Prize
British journalism can still feel like a club for famous family surnames. So the Geddes Prize was a wonderful vote of confidence in talent and ambition over connections. Winning it only a few years after Philip's murder, and going on to work in Northern Ireland soon after joining the BBC as a News Trainee, I have always sought to keep up awareness of the past in my coverage of the present. And in 22 years, at ITN, the BBC and in national newspapers, I have never taken for granted the privilege and pleasure of being a journalist.
Winner of the 1987 St Edmund Hall Prize
Director of External Relations, Global Business Group, Fujitsu; Director of Rudlin Consulting; European Representative, Japan Intercultural Consulting
Although I did not go down the traditional path of becoming a journalist, the experience of having a nose for a good story and how to communicate it, which was validated by the Geddes Prize, has led me to the kind of career which is becoming more and more common. We are all having to work longer, change jobs more often and even change careers. Many professionals end up, as I have, doing several jobs at once, and those jobs often entail being able to understand what an audience wants to hear, and being able to communicate that to them.
I am still paid to write, but my writing supports my professional profile and the company I founded. Aided by the rise of social media, having an area of expertise, and being able to communicate it to the rest of the world is essential if you want to make your mark. With the Geddes Prize I was able to travel to Brazil and study the Japanese community that had been living there for a hundred years. Japan’s cross cultural experience has been my focus since – I have worked for Japanese multinationals, set up my own consultancy and Tweet, blog and write books and articles on the subject.
Winner of the St Edmund Hall Prize 1985
I was absolutely thrilled when I won the Geddes Prize. One major aspect was to boost my confidence in my own abilities as a writer. This is, I think, the best legacy of the Prize. A writer must have confidence to get up every day and deal with the inevitable blank slate that faces him or her. To know that other people value what you create is enormously important.
Winner of the first Philip Geddes Prize in 1985
Editor, Foundation Programmes, BBC College of Journalism
It seems such a long time ago... er, that's because it is. I can remember being stunned and delighted, in that order, on being told I'd won the Philip Geddes Memorial Prize. I was also astonished that, once some news of the award filtered out, a couple rather well connected people contacted me about my project which was the invasion and partition of Cyprus in 1974. They wanted to talk to ME! So, a huge boost to my confidence and it confirmed my vague notions of venturing into journalism.
In a purely pragmatic sense, it's fantastic thing to put on your CV, an excellent and relevant talking point, especially when venturing into the trade for the first time and being sucked into that chicken-and-egg vortex of "we're looking for experience - how do I get that? - through a job in journalism - how do I get THAT? - with experience". It's proof of commitment.