Ouch! wins European diversity prize

Damon Rose and Emma Tracey Damon Rose and Emma Tracey enjoy their victory

There was triumph for BBC Ouch! at the European Diversity Awards in London.

Sbj Damon Rose and bj Emma Tracey were honoured with the 'Herbert Smith Journalist of the Year Award' for their blog and podcast about disability issues.

BBC Ouch! was commended by the judges for its coverage of the Paralympics, its reporting for BBC World Service and Radio 5 Live and 'for bringing disability to the mainstream audience of the BBC'.

Rose says: 'We're really thrilled with this award. We've recorded tens of hundreds of hours of podcasts and written extensively about aspects of disability life that are not often considered.'

Paralympic fortnight

The team recently spent nearly two weeks at the London Paralympic Games, contextualising the event for people, writing blog entries and articles for BBC News and inputting to various radio stations.

Rose, who was launch editor of Ouch! in 2002, says that it's his personal experiences as a blind person which helps to inform the work his team does to raise the profile of disabled people and ask the questions that others might shy away from.

The sbj recently wrote a BBC News story about his first attempt at disability sport after losing his eyesight at 13. He explains how his early experiences were 'pretty confusing, not to mention painful and slightly humiliating'.

Switch to News

BBC Ouch! recently moved to BBC News in June; they were formerly part of Learning. Rose hopes this switch will help his team concentrate on journalism full time and bring a larger range of disability stories to BBC News.

'Thinking of the future, we'd really like to transfer the podcast to the radio in some form. Our presenters [Liz Carr and Rob Crossan] give disability a very refreshing treatment in the way they discuss the subject. Certainly, the podcast deserves a higher profile.'

The European Diversity Awards received 500 nominations from 20 different countries. The BBC team beat journalists including Caitlin Moran of The Times, Eleanor Mills of The Sunday Times and Mark Townsend from The Observer.

BBC Social Affairs correspondent Alison Holt was nominated in the same category for reporting about vulnerable people on the edge of society.

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