A number of talented UL journalism students have been nominated ahead of the SMEDIA Awards next Thursday at the Aviva Stadium
By Joe Saunders
The Student Media Awards (or SMEDIAs) shortlists for 2023 have been announced, and a number of talented UL journalism students have been nominated ahead of the awards night on Thursday, April 20 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The UL SMEDIAs nominations showcase the impressive talent of these young journalists, whose hard work and dedication have earned them recognition in the highly competitive categories. Among the nominees, the Limerick Voice newspaper and digital news outlet have been nominated for Newspaper of the Year, Website of the Year, and Newspaper Layout and Design. Meanwhile, students Aishín Hennigan and Molly Cantwell have both been shortlisted for Editor of the Year, heading up the Limerick Voice socials and the UL student-led magazine Curious respectively.
Ellen Cornelius and Rachel Petticrew, both fourth-year journalism students, have been nominated individually for Journalism Relating to Health. Aislinn Kelly has been nominated for Features Writer of the Year in Arts and Pop Culture, while Joe Drennan, a third-year journalism student, is a nominee for Journalist of the Year in National Media.
Collaborative Journalism has also been recognised, with Ellen Gough and Rebecca Lenihan among the nominees. In the magazine category, Establish (second-year journalism students) and Curious (third-year journalism students) have been shortlisted for Magazine of the Year, with Curious also nominated for Small Publication of the Year.
In the Radio Production of the Year News and Current Affairs category, Ellen Cornelius, Rachel Petticrew, Siadbh Redmond and Ann McDonald, all fourth-year journalism students, have been nominated for their work as part of a live radio day earlier this year, as has Caleb Brennan, also a fourth-year student and Limerick Voice Podcast Editor.
“It’s great to see so many nominations for students across our journalism programme in UL from second year right up to final year, our students are already being recognised by national media industry figures who are involved in the judging process for the SMEDIAs. It’s a wonderful validation as they prepare to enter the world of work,” said Kathryn Hayes, Course Director BA Journalism and Digital Communication.
Digital Editor of Limerick Voice, Rachel Petticrew added, “Looking back, I am extremely proud of the work Limerick Voice has produced over the past year, and the new ways in which we have grown the publication. To receive so many nominations from the SMEDIAs judges is a real testament to the standard and consistency of brilliant work contributed year-round by our entire team.
“We pushed the boundaries in establishing a new style for Limerick Voice this year, and that is reflected in our written and audio-visual content as well as our social media platforms. We also published a well-received 32-page Limerick Voice newspaper in March, the standard of which we are immensely proud.
“As a team, we are looking forward to taking a break from our studies to attend the awards in Dublin next week and can’t wait to see what else might lie ahead.”
Limerick Voice Social Media Manager and Editor of the Year nominee Aishlin Hennigan said, “This year, we have extracted the full potential from the social media and utilised every platform. Our success is evidenced by our statistics which show a 20% increase in Instagram followers, multiple videos reaching over 10 thousand views and reaching over thirty thousand Instagram accounts in one month.
“This year, we also put heavy emphasis on video content and encouraged our journalists to get creative with reporting on stories. Our audience responded to this, and I am delighted to say we have more than tripled our TikTok followers.”
Full list of UL nominees
Newspaper of the Year – Limerick Voice
Website of the year – Limerick Voice
Layout and Design – Limerick Voice
Editor of the Year – Aishlín Hennigan; Molly Cantwell
Journalism relating to health – Ellen Cornelius; Rachel Petticrew
Features Writer of the Year Arts and Pop Culture – Aislinn Kelly
Journalist of the Year National Media – Joe Drennan
Collaborative Journalism – Ellen Gough & Rebecca Lenihan
Magazine of the year – Establish (Second-year journalism, 2023); Curious (Second-year journalism, 2022)
Small Publication of the Year – Curious (Second-year journalism class 2022)
Radio Production of the Year, News and Current Affairs – Ellen Cornelius, Rachel Petticrew, Siadbh Redmond and Ann McDonald; Caleb Brennan.