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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Young writers: Columban competition opens for ’19

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural Columban Schools Journalism competition, the Columbans have launched a 2019 competition with the title: ‘The Challenge of Climate Change’.

Students aged 15-18 inclusive are invited to write an article or make a video report that informs and raises important issues on ‘The Challenge of Climate Change’.

Two separate competitions will be held, one for students in Ireland and one in Britain (England, Scotland, Wales). Each has two categories, writing and video, with the closing date for entries 8th February 2019.

The objective is to encourage students to use their journalistic writing and mobile skills to look at a topical issue which is relevant to society today and resonates with Catholic social teaching.

A number of high-profile names from the world of journalism will judge the competition.

In Britain, the judges are: John Vidal, a journalist who was environment editor at The Guardian for 27 years; Ruth Gledhill, a multi-media editor at The Tablet, previously the religion affairs correspondent for The Times; Nick Benson, news editor at The Catholic Universe; Josephine Siedlecka, founder and editor of Independent Catholic News; and Tom O’Reilly SSC, Columban priest and writer.

The winning articles and videos will be announced on 15th March 2019.

Columban Missionaries believe the crisis of human-induced climate change, which threatens all life on Earth, is a key moral issue for the Churches. Climate change raises serious moral and ethical concerns about the distribution and use of our planet’s finite resources and the destruction of biodiversity and the web of life.

Irish Columban and Catholic Universe columnist Fr Sean McDonagh is known around the world as an eco-theologian who works to raise awareness on the connections between justice and peace issues, environmental sustainability and faith. He is an outspoken critic of policies that allow for the systematic degradation of the environment, linking them to global poverty. He is the author of numerous articles and nine books including Climate Change: The Challenge to All of Us, Greening the Christian Millennium, Care for the Earth and Dying for Water. He will be involved judging the Irish entries to the competition.

For more information about the schools journalism competition see:

Picture: Winners from this year’s competition when the subject was ‘Migrants are our neighbours’. (Sophie Stanes).