Limerick journalism students give a voice to the city

Limerick Voice
Editor Marisa Kennedy and photo editor Cian Reinhardt at the launch of The Limerick Voice. Photo: Oisin McHugh

THE story of a Limerick family who have gone to extraordinary lengths to ease the agony of terminal illness features in the tenth edition of Limerick Voice newspaper produced this week by journalism students at the University of Limerick.

Other powerful stories about people overcoming enormous physical disabilities to achieve greatness on the sporting fields and in wider society are also highlighted by the masters and fourth year undergraduate students.

Prevalent social issues including the ongoing homeless crisis and the number of Limerick families who will spend Christmas in emergency accommodation or family hubs are highlighted along with an exclusive Limerick Voice survey on the Eighth Amendment, which reveals how over 60% of respondents are in favour of changing the constitutional ban on abortion.

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Limerick Voice also celebrates the power of community spirit with four pages dedicated to stories about people and projects in Limerick’s regeneration areas.

The online news website has been live since September, covering daily breaking news and sports stories. Limerick Voice has also been active across all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

According to UL President Des Fitzgerald the Limerick Voice project is an example of how journalism education at UL is committed to preparing students for the world of work.

“Problem-based or experiential learning is a key component of many of the programmes of study at UL and Limerick Voice is an excellent example of how well this concept works and how professional our students can be. All of the students who worked on this project now have very real experience of the skills that are required to take a newspaper from concept to print.”

UL Head of Journalism Mary Dundon said that the production of this newspaper on a multi-media platform provided the students with excellent hands-on experience that will be vital to them when they enter the very competitive jobs market next year.

“The editors of local and national media have told us that they need graduates with good analytical skills who can write across a range of multi-media platforms – we are producing those graduates at UL.”

Journalism lecturer Kathryn Hayes, who oversaw the project said the experience of working on the Limerick Voice newspaper and its online platforms provides vital skills for students entering the highly competitive Irish journalism jobs market after graduation.

“Limerick Voice allows students the opportunity to demonstrate skills of analytical thinking, verification, leadership, teamwork and accountability. Now more than ever, it is imperative that the core skills that underpin best journalistic practice are not undermined. This project gives students the chance to experience what it means to be a professional journalist and empowers them to make editorial judgements with guidance from faculty here at the journalism department in UL.”

Limerick Voice editor Marisa Kennedy said she was proud to oversee the tenth edition of the newspaper and thanked the Limerick Leader newspaper for their continued support of this project ensuring Limerick Voice stories can reach a wider audience.

Last year’s edition of Limerick Voice received a record number of nominations at the National Student Media Awards where three UL journalism students won awards.

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