Photo of Cem Kozanoglu, who has short dark curly hair and is wearing a black Oxford academic gown

Undergraduate Cem Kozanoglu (2022, Computer Science and Philosophy) has won this year’s LMH Paul McClean Prize for Journalism, receiving a prize of £600 to support his journalistic ambitions. 

The prize was established in memory of alumnus Paul McClean (2011, French) who, after graduating with a First, tragically passed away in September 2017. Paul was pursuing a career in journalism as part of the Financial Times graduate trainee programme at the time of his death, and played an active role in student journalism during his time at LMH, notably as Deputy Editor of the Cherwell

The prize was judged by LMH alumni Merlin Fulcher (2005, History), who writes for The Architect’s Journal and James Pickford (1989, PPE), Deputy Editor of FT Money. Merlin and James were impressed with the quality of the prize submissions, saying, "It was a great honour to be asked to judge the LMH Paul McClean Prize for Journalism. It is brilliant to see so much talent and enthusiasm for journalism demonstrated by everyone who applied. We would like to thank everyone for their brilliant submissions. LMH is clearly providing a great environment for students working towards ambitious careers in journalism and we are confident this year’s winner will use the prize to deliver a fitting tribute to Paul McClean’s influential journalistic legacy."

Of the decision to award this year’s prize to Cem, the judges said, “We are in agreement that Cem is a worthy prizewinner. He shows a solid grasp of the requirements of news journalism and a good deal of initiative in his pursuit of stories. His work suggests he can break news on important themes and, importantly, that he has a sense of the need for balance and right of reply.” 

Currently Deputy News Editor of Cherwell, Cem discovered a passion for investigative journalism after his initial application to become a comment section-editor for the student newspaper was rejected and he was instead assigned to the news and investigations team. 

Although initially a bit disheartened, Cem says of the experience, “I started working for the news team in October 2023, when the University was rocked by the global reverberations from the conflict in the Gaza Strip. I became really involved in covering the protests in town and the reactions of the student societies. While immensely stressful, the challenge of having to present a balanced and objective perspective on all of these events was one I took up with a great passion.”

Cem plans to use the prize money to support his work for Cherwell by spending additional time in Oxford over the summer, when he can fully dedicate his time to journalism. He also hopes to attend next year’s Student Publication Conference on behalf of Cherwell, taking the opportunity to network with industry professionals. 

A possible future career in journalism wasn’t on Cem’s radar before he arrived in Oxford, as he was focused on developing his STEM skills. But, Cem says, “Through the philosophy side of my degree and my experience working in Cherwell I’ve developed a real passion for writing, with a focus on journalism. I’ve especially enjoyed diving deep into topics which both interested me and affected a lot of students. Any career which would allow me to follow my passions and do some good for the world would be exceptionally fulfilling, so I’m seriously considering career opportunities in journalism after I graduate.”

Reflecting on receiving the prize, Cem said, “I’m grateful to LMH and the judges for awarding me the Paul McClean prize. Being at Oxford has provided me with so many great opportunities that I'd never considered, and student journalism might be the one I've enjoyed the most. I look forward to continuing my commitment and passion for journalism with the prize money and the confidence given by the award.”

We would like to thank this year’s prize judges for generously giving their time. We would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the Paul McClean prize fund to enable us to continue Paul’s journalistic legacy at LMH.