Neurodiverse City of Portsmouth College student picks up journalism award

A neurodiverse Portsmouth student, who is also partially deaf, has overcome his personal challenges to pick up a top southern journalism award.

James Buckley, 20, who has just completed his journalism diploma at City of Portsmouth College, is to receive an award from the Solent branch of the National Union of Journalists in memory of their late colleague, chairman and champion of journalists’ rights, Bob Norris.

He was nominated by tutor Darren Sadler who described him as ‘a lively young man with a promising future ahead.’

Throughout the course, James consistently demonstrated an enthusiasm for learning, developing new skill sets and approaching the world of journalism in a way that will work for him.

Not only has he written a number of articles for The News, he also attended the first Diversity In Journalism event hosted by News UK in London.

As a result, he was able to share his experiences in an article that was published by The Disability Union.

“This feels incredible, and I’m very happy to have won!” he said.

“Journalism is a brilliant industry to get into – and I feel I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my tutors, Darren Sadler and Pauline Willson. They helped me so much, especially in terms of exam revision, and I feel my course qualification would have been a lot worse without their expert help!”

In recognition of his achievements, James will be receiving a trophy, certificate and cash award.

He is one of three students to pick up Bob Norris awards this year, joining Cairo-born Michel Jreissati, 20, who studied a BA (Hons) in Sports Journalism at Solent University, and Craig Tilley, 27, from Portsmouth, who studied a BA (Hons) in Journalism at the University of Portsmouth.