SMEDIA recognition for quality journalism is in the post

Student Media Awards nominees Cian Reinhardt, Sports Photographer of the Year award nominee, and Simon Bourke, Journalist of the Year award nominee. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

TWO trainee journalists working with the Limerick Post newspaper are in line for national media awards.

Columnist Simon Bourke and social media co-ordinator Cian Reinhardt, who are mature students at the University of Limerick, have been nominated for national student media (Smedia) awards which will be presented in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on this Thursday night.

Simon, who is fourth year Journalism and New Media student, is in contention for the Journalist of the Year title. Among the Kilkenny man’s entries is the story of a Limerick family’s extraordinary journey to ease the agony of terminal illness, which was  published in the Limerick Post.

Cian, who is also in his final year of the Journalism and New Media degree course,has been nominated for Sports Photographer of the Year. A native of Waterford City, he has been working with the Limerick Post for the past two years

For the second year running, Limerick Voice, the newspaper produced by UL journalism students has been nominated for Newspaper of the Year. Its online platform has also been nominated for Website of the Year.

The largest competition of its kind in Ireland, the Smedias recognise and celebrate 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.

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Second and fourth year students students Mark Boylan and Ger Flanagan are both in the running for the title of Sports Writer of the Year. Their stories include features about people overcoming enormous physical disabilities to achieve greatness on the sporting fields.

Babble the digital magazine produced by second year journalism students in UL has secured two nominations: Small Society Publication and Layout of the Year.

Journalism student Marisa Kennedy who worked as editor of Limerick Voice 2017 said she was honoured to see the newspaper and website represented in so many categories.

“I am delighted that the Limerick Voice newspaper has been nominated for three Smedia Awards with further nominations for our online editor, photos editor and two of our reporters. 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 Limerick Voice will continue this successful streak next Thursday at the awards night.”

UL Head of Journalism Mary Dundon congratulated all of this year’s nominees.

“We are delighted to see the hard work of our journalism students being validated by national media industry figures. These nominations are a testament to our students’ dedication and talent and also to the excellent edition of the Limerick Voice overseen by Kathryn Hayes again this year. We are also thrilled to the see the online magazine, Babble, produced by our second year students and overseen by Colin McGann, nominated for two awards this year.

According to UL Journalism lecturer Kathryn Hayes industry recognition for high quality journalistic skills is extremely valuable for UL journalism students going forward in their careers.

“A core focus of journalism education in UL is to prepare students for the world of work and problem based or experintial learning is an intergral part of our teaching which enables students to build a portfolio which can be showcased at event’s such as the National Student Media Awards.”

The UL nominations in this year’s awards include:

Newspaper of the Year – Limerick Voice
Small College/Society publication of the year – Limerick Voice and Babble Magazine
Layout and Design of the Year (newspaper) – Limerick Voice.
Layout and Design of the Year (magazine)  – Babble
Journalist of the Year – Simon Bourke
Sports Photographer of the Year – Cian Reinhardt
Sports Writer of the Year – Mark Boylan and  Ger Flanagan
Website of the Year – Limerick Voice
Editor of the Year – Anna Cullen

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