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City University London student wins 2014 Anthony Howard Award for Young Journalists

Ashley Cowburn named the winner of the prestigious £25,000 prize and fellowships at The Times, the Observer and New Statesman

Ashley Cowburn, a 23-year-old City University London MA Newspaper Journalism student, has been announced as the winner of the 2014 Anthony Howard Award for Young Journalists.

The prestigious £25,000 prize, sponsored by Haymarket Media Group, was established in memory of writer, editor and broadcaster Anthony Howard. In addition to the £25,000, Cowburn will, from October, undertake three successive fellowships with the titles most closely associated with Howard: the Times, the Observer and New Statesman.

The winner was determined by Robert Harris, Peter Hennessy, Sir Jeremy Isaacs, Jeremy Paxman and Claire Tomalin.

Recognised as one of the most acute political commentators of his generation and a familiar face and voice on TV and radio, Howard was also an acute judge of new talent. With this in mind, Lord Heseltine, who established Haymarket Media Group, set up the award to honour the memory of his lifelong friend.

Applicants were invited to submit a detailed proposal for a 5,000-word essay on a political theme. Ashley Cowburn won with his idea to examine how an increase in working-class people in the upper echelons of mainstream parties could revitalise voter turnout and reverse diminishing enthusiasm for British politics.

"I'm delighted to have won the Anthony Howard Award and to have the chance to work on three historically brilliant publications", says Cowburn. "It's an exciting time for politics: in September, Scotland will decide whether to stay in the Union and in May next year Britain will vote in one of the most bitterly contested elections for decades."

Professor George Brock, Head of Journalism at City says: "The generosity of the gift which founded the Anthony Howard Award gives the winner a truly unusual opportunity to get launched - something which Tony Howard would have enthusiastically supported. City Journalism congratulates Ashley Cowburn on winning and wishes him the best of luck."

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