Changing the world, one story at a time. Humanitarian Society scoops two awards for groundbreaking journalism

An issue of the Humanitarian Society newsletter (Credit: University of Leicester Humanitarian Society)

Students from University of Leicester’s Humanitarian Society have won two of the most prestigious student journalism awards in the region.

The Student Publication Association recognised the work of the Humanitarian Society’s magazine, People Behind the Headlines.

Covering stories that delve into the hardship, grief and breakthroughs of human life, the Humanitarian Society provides University of Leicester students with a deeper look into the human experience, touching on topics that provide eye-opening insight to their readers.

People Behind the Headlines received the Best Newcomer Publication Award in the Student Publication Association Regional Awards 2024. As Editor-in-Chief, Mariya Shan won an individual award for Outstanding Commitment.

Mariya, who is a third-year Politics and Sociology student, said: “Our publication, People Behind the Headlines, provides University of Leicester students with a platform to write about causes close to their hearts – whether that be an opinion piece, photojournalism or even an interview with a huge public figure.

“We have about 20 student writers and 400 readers so far and we’re immensely proud of the community we've created on campus.”

Discussing the awards, she said: “We were being judged against many talented student journalists across the Midlands, so the competition was intense.

“The judges were esteemed journalists from the likes of the BBC, The Independent and Sky News. Knowing that the industry’s best had not only acknowledged but also appreciated our work is insane.

“We’re honestly so grateful to our team of hard-working writers and committee members as well as our readers for their support.” 

She said: “So far, we’ve interviewed a US gay conversion camp survivor, a suicide helpline worker, a homeless care-leaver student, a Palestinian refugee who lived through three wars and an NF-1 disability advocate. All their stories were powerful and have stuck with me.”

Read the latest issue of People Behind the Headlines here.