UL journalism students have secured a record number of nominations in the National Student Media Awards.
Limerick Voice, which was named newspaper of the year in 2018, has been nominated for the third year running in a number of different categories including:
- Newspaper of the Year
- Layout and Design
- Website of the Year
Frances Watkins, the 2018 editor of the 40-page local newspaper, produced by Masters and fourth year Journalism and New Media students, has also been nominated for Editor of the Year.
UL’s student newspaper An Focal overseen by second-year Journalism and New Media student Christine Costelleo, has also been nominated in the Layout and Design, and Website of the Year categories.
The National Student Media Awards, or the Smedias as they are known, is the largest competition of its kind in Ireland dedicated to recognising and celebrating the next generation of media talent. Open to students from every college across Ireland the awards are judged by key media industry leaders including Mark Hennessey, News Editor of The Irish Times, and Fionnan Sheahan, Editor of The Irish Independent.
Two UL journalism students have been nominated for Journalist of the Year including Muireann Duffy whose interview with cervical cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan, revealed how the brave mother of two has been using money raised for her own cancer treatment to help others gain to access to the wonder drug responsible for keeping her alive.
Journalism MA student Minyang Pang, a scholarship student from Beijing Sports University, has been nominated in the News and Sports Photographer of the Year categories.
Second year journalism student Ronan Coughlan has also been nominated in two categories: Sports Writer of the Year and in the Radio Production category for the radio show Beyond the Game, which he co-presents with fellow second-year student Ivan Symth.
“It’s great to see so many nominations for students across our journalism programme in UL. From second year right up to Masters level our students work is being recognised by national media industry figures, which is wonderful validation as they prepare to enter the world of work,” said Kathryn Hayes, Course Director, BA Journalism and New Media UL.
The 19th edition of the National Student Media Awards takes place on Thursday, April 11th, the same day UL will mark the ten year anniversary of journalism studies at UL.
The celebrations will begin with a keynote address by BBC Africa Editor and UL Adjunct Professor of Journalism Fergal Keane who will discuss the threat of fake news and the rise of populism.
A panel discussion will take place afterward with RTE broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan; Irish Times News Editor Mark Hennessy; and Professor Maura Adshead, University of Limerick.
The panel will be chaired by UL head of journalism Mary Dundon:
“We are really looking forward to celebrating ten years of journalism at UL with an exciting line up of events, which are open to the public. We are also looking forward to welcoming many of our successful graduates back to talk about their careers.
“We are extremely proud to see a record number of nominations for UL journalism students in this year’s National Student Media Awards. UL has enjoyed a high degree of success at the Smedias in recent years which is due to the continued advancement of journalism in the university and to those who work tirelessly in the department. I hope all of the nominees will continue this successful streak next Thursday at the awards night.”
UL journalism students are represented in 14 separate categories in the Smedias 2019 including:
- Newspaper of the Year – Limerick Voice
- Journalist of the Year – Muireann Duffy & Evie Kearney
- Website of the Year – Limerick Voice & An Focal
- Editor of the Year – Frances Watkins
- Layout and Design of the Year (newspaper)– Limerick Voice & An Focail
- Sports Photographer of the Year – Minyang Pang
- News Photographer of the Year – Minyang Pang
- Sports Writer of the Year– Ronan Coughlan
- Features Writer of the Year – Federica Montella
- Features, News and Current Affairs – Kathleen O Sullivan
- Radio Production/News and Current Affairs– Emil Trahan
- Radio Production/Arts and Features – Ivan Smyth and Ronan Coughlan ‘Beyond the Game’
- People’s Choice – An Focal
- Blog/Vlog of the Year – Aisling O’Connnor
The 19th edition of the Smedias takes place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on April 11th 2019.