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SPA National Awards: Winners announced

Dozens of the UK and Ireland’s student journalists have been recognised at the Student Publication Association’s National Awards.

SPA National Awards: Winners announced
Aubrey Allegretti: "Student journalists have produced some phenomenal work this year.”

The Student Publication Association’s National Awards ceremony, held in Bristol on Saturday 13 April, saw trophies handed out to the best student newspapers, magazines and journalists for innovative and impactful work produced over the past 12 months.

The Best Publication winner, The Student, was commended by the judge for its investigative journalism that led to "serious tangible change to many students’ lives".

The Student is a newspaper run by students at the University of Edinburgh, and was set up by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887. It describes itself as Europe's oldest student newspaper.

The win was part of a big success for Scottish student publications, after the SPA's conference and awards ceremony was held in Glasgow last year, added the organisation.

The runner up for Best Publication this year was The Glasgow Guardian. The Croft, a student magazine at Bristol University which hosted the event, won the Best Magazine Design award.

Lucy Dyer, editorial development manager at News Associates, said of The Student: "This publication really stood out to me this year, for two main reasons. Firstly, their dedication to producing hyperlocal news which directly impacts students, across all sections of the publication. And secondly, the quality of their investigative journalism, with some of their investigations leading to serious tangible change to many students’ lives."

From hard-hitting investigations to insightful interviews, and punchy comment pieces to creative culture articles, the quality of work produced by all the winners showcased the finest talent on campuses across the UK and Republic of Ireland, added the Student Publication Association.

The awards were sponsored by a range of industry bodies, including News Associates, Newsworks, Cardiff, PA Training, Bloomberg, News UK, RockBox, ABSW, Savanta, Women in Journalism, William Reed and the University of Sheffield.

SPA says its National Awards received more than 1,200 entries this year, nominations were judged by a range of editors and journalists from media organisations including the BBC, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Sky News, The Guardian, The Times, OK Magazine and openDemocracy.

Judges paid tribute to the high standards of work submitted, saying many pieces would fit perfectly into national publications.

Aubrey Allegretti, a trustee for the SPA who is also chief political correspondent for The Times, said: "Student journalists have produced some phenomenal work this year. They conducted important investigative work, and kept their audiences informed and entertained in equal measure.

"Despite the threat of funding cuts, student journalists are still the lifeblood of their campus communities. They have campaigned on a range of important issues and continued to innovate to give a voice to the voiceless.

"The judges for our 2024 National Awards said many of the stories, publication designs and photos submitted would fit perfectly in national publications. I am confident our winners will follow those before them into the profession and become the industry leaders of tomorrow."

The full list of winners were:

  • Best Student Photographer - Mia Wilson (Quench Magazine)
  • Best Creative Piece - “Greetings and Goodbye”, Zoé Barret (The Boar)
  • Best Arts or Culture Piece - "The History of Sussex Music: From Jimi Hendrix to… Nothing?”, Harry Turnbull and Isabella Poderico (The Badger)
  • Best Lifestyle Piece - “The Language of Cooking”, Selina Chen (Cherwell)
  • Best Comment Piece - “Apology to my mum; or, why I’ll be arrested”, Cameron Baillie (The Beaver)
  • Best Science or Tech Piece - “Trust me, I'm an Exorcist”, Zoya Gul (RUMS Review)
  • Best Interview - “What’s the Big Issue? A Frank conversation on homelessness”, Eden Fall-Bailey, The Boar
  • Best Feature - "Lost in Translation: Exchange Students Condemn College’s Poor Communication”, Phoebe Pascoe and Hosanna Boulter, The University Times
  • Best Investigation - “KCL Tories Event Features Fascist Armband And Far-Right Language”, Daisy Eastlake and Diana Rajabalinia, Roar News
  • Best News Story - “(Modern Languages Department on the chopping block as UoA faces £15m shortfall“, Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco, The Gaudie
  • Rising Star (Best Newcomer) - Semhar (Semi) Tesfazgy, The Badger
  • Best Culture Writer - Phoebe Pascoe, The University Times
  • Best Sports Reporter - Joseph Saunders, Palatinate
  • Best Reporter - Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco, The Gaudie
  • Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment - Fintan Hogan, Roar News
  • Best Sport Publication or Section(s) - Palatinate
  • Best Science Publication or Section(s) - The Courier
  • Best Culture Publication or Section(s) - Quench
  • Best Project or Initiative - Podcasts by Palatinate
  • Best Website - The Mancunion
  • Best Overall Digital Media - Roar News
  • Best Design (Magazine) - The Croft
  • Best Design (Newspaper) - The Gaudie
  • Best Newcomer Publication - People Behind the Headlines
  • Best Specialist Publication - Strand Magazine
  • Best Publication - The Student

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