‘Excellent local journalism’: Limerick Voice project celebrated at newspaper launch

limerick voice launch
Ellen Gough, Print Editor and Aine Fitzgerald, Editor Limerick Leader at the launch of Limerick Voice' annual print edition. Picture: Alan Place

Industry heads, Limerick Voice readers and UL staff and scholars gathered last week to reflect on a year of student-produced news

By Jodie McCormack 

A sense of accomplishment filled the University of Limerick’s Glucksman Library on March 15 as final-year Journalism & Digital Communications students launched the 16th edition of Limerick Voice‘ annual newspaper.

The paper, produced and designed solely by students and published as an insert to the Limerick Leader‘s weekend edition, is bolstered by the year-round Limerick Voice news website.

Sean Finnan, Layout, Ann McDonald, Reporter, Caleb Brennan, Podcast Editor and Course Director for the BA in Journalism and Communication, Kathryn Hayes. Picture: Alan Place

Head of the UL’s School of English, Irish and Communications, Dr Yvonne Cleary, said at the event: “This project gives students an amazing experience in journalism practice.

“I think what you have produced over the past number of months really demonstrates the essence of good journalism is human endeavour.”

She continued: “This particular edition, alongside the podcasts, social media and the website, are examples of really good local journalism.”

Ellen Gough, final-year student and Print Editor of Limerick Voice reflected on the stories featured in this year’s paper. 

“Our mission statement this year, which we came up with together last September, is ‘The Talk of the Treaty’ – and the 41 stories in this paper encapsulate that statement perfectly. They are wide-ranging and impactful.”

Ms Gough spoke about her journey to studying on the BA Journalism programme, crediting her late father Arthur, a press photographer, as an inspiration.

“I do not regret how long it took me to get here,” she stated, “because I got to do this course with some of the best young journalists UL has ever produced.”

Digital Editor Rachel Petticrew also reflected on the Limerick Voice mission statement, noting, “Our most successful content online by far has been our Limerick-centred stories.”

She added: “Ultimately, what I’m most proud of looking back on the last few months is the consistency and the constant quality of what we’ve produced.

“This would not have been possible without the dedication of our editorial team, who have been an absolute privilege to work with.”

Rachel Petticrew, Digital Editor, Aishlin Hennigan, Social Media Manager, Ellen Gough, Print Editor and James Roulston Mooney, Sports Editor. Picture: Alan Place

This year, a huge emphasis was put on creating and maintaining an active multi-media news face across the website, paper and social media. 

Social Media Manager Aishlin Hennigan told those in attendance that her mantra from the beginning of the project had been that “every story deserved to be shared on social media”.

Aishlin continued: “I knew this would lead to challenging long hours, however, it has been an honour to promote reporter’s high-quality work and I’m delighted to say that it has been recieved well on social media.

“When I first took on the role I thought, ‘how do I like to see the news?’ From there, I created a formula -every post would have two lines of text, a photo and a link bringing you directly to that story.”

“Soon, we became recognised as a trusty-worthy, high quality and competitive news site.”

If you haven’t got a copy of this year’s Limerick Voice print edition, you will find the biggest stories online right here.

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