Four awards for UL journalism at SMEDIAs 2023

(L-R) Sports Editor James Roulston Mooney, Layout Editor Sean Finnan, Digital Editor Rachel Petticrew, Print Editor Ellen Gough, reporter Ellen Cornelius and Podcast Editor Caleb Brennan at the Aviva Stadium for the 2023 SMEDIA Awards

The SMEDIAs bring together industry leaders, educators, and students from across Ireland to celebrate the next generation of media talent 

By Ellen Gough

UL journalism students have scooped four awards at the National Student Media Awards, held on April 20 at the Aviva Stadium.

Curious Magazine, produced by the third year journalism class, was named Magazine of the Year and also won the award for Layout and Design of the Year – Magazine. 

Two editors of the Limerick Voice multimedia news platform were also winners at the annual awards ceremony, which brings together media industry leaders, educators, and students from across Ireland.

Limerick Voice Digital Editor Rachel Petticrew won the award for Journalism Relating to Health and Aislinn Kelly, Limerick Voice Business and Agriculture Editor, was named Features Writer of the Year – Arts and Pop Culture

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

Speaking about her award, Limerick Voice Digital Editor Rachel Petticrew said: 

“I’m thrilled to have won the Journalism Relating to Health award at last night’s SMEDIAs for my piece on the ongoing issues with crack cocaine use, prevention and treatment in Limerick City. Huge thanks to Dr Dervla Kelly, the Mid West Regional Drugs & Alcohol Forum and Novas for their time, to my tutor Kathryn Hayes for all her advice and to all who contributed to our brilliant Limerick Voice print edition in March.” 

Molly Cantwell, Editor of Curious Magazine, is delighted, and looking forward to what the next year holds. “This is truly a testament to the amount of hard work that went into the magazine. I’m so proud to have been editor in chief of such a phenomenal project and I’m looking forward to entering my final year of journalism at UL with an amazing team of journalists by my side and two massive wins under our belt!”

UL journalism students received 15 nominations at this year’s SMEDIAS, which is a testament to the talent of the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate students, according to Kathryn Hayes, Course Director BA Journalism and Digital Communication. 

Limerick Voice Business and Agriculture Editor Aislinn Kelly was named Features Writer of the Year – Arts and Pop Culture

“We are extremely proud of all of our students who were nominated for awards in highly competitive categories at this year’s SMEDIAS and of those who received awards. This is well-deserved industry recognition of the excellent work our students have been producing across multimedia news platforms, which is an integral part of journalism education in UL.”   

For Aislinn Kelly, her award “has been a wonderful way to conclude my four years.”

“I am so delighted to be recognised for writing about art and so grateful to the many people who have let me into their lives and studios to showcase their stories. Studying journalism at Ul has been an invaluable experience.”

The SMEDIAS celebrate the achievements of students in media-related fields across the country. 

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday, April 20 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and was attended by Irish media personality and Bray native Laura Whitmore. 

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