A Kingston University journalism student finished runner up in the annual Guardian Feature Writer of the Year, 2012.
Mashaal Mir, who was editor of The River for two issues, finished her bachelor’s degree last year in journalism and is now focusing on her masters at City University, studying broadcast journalism.
“Initially I didn’t want to send in my work at all. The thought of ‘real’ journalists looking at my work kind of terrified me and I kept ignoring it,” said Mashaal.
Lecturer Dan Townend was the one who persuaded Mashaal to send in her work. He said: “She has a raw talent and a way with words. I knew she’d do well in the competition.”
Mashaal sent in three feature ideas, all with controversial themes. These included one on Kingston students wearing burkas, and another on students suffering from sex addiction
“All pretty heavy topics. I feel that writing features on such topics in a respectful manner helps break down walls and empowers people,” said Mashaal.