The 21st National Student Media Awards (Smedias) took place on Wednesday 2nd June. This year’s Smedia Awards took place virtually via a YouTube and Facebook livestream celebrating the hard work and efforts of over 260 nominees in 42 highly contested categories. Despite a global pandemic, the awards went ahead for the 21st year with great enthusiasm and a 60% increase in student applicant entries.
Hosted by Oxygen.ie, the Smedias allows students to showcase their work in Journalism, Radio and TV Production, Broadcasting and Writing to prominent figures from the Irish media industry.
An impressive line-up of judges included The Irish Independent’s Editor Fionnán Sheahan, The Irish Times’ News Editor Mark Hennessy, Alan Steenson Editor of The Herald, The Irish Mirror’s Sports Editor Neil Fullerton and The Editor of the Irish Examiner Sheila Reilly and various editors and producers from Ireland’s leading media organisations. Various high-profile presenters such as Angela Scanlon, Maura Derrane, Muireann O’Connell and Richard Chambers, among others.
MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service) sponsored Features Writer of the Year: News & Current Affairs. This prestigious Smedia went to Sophie Finn from UCD. This highly desired award was judged by Alan Steenson, Editor of The Herald. Sophie is a third year law student from Kilkenny and is an aspiring journalist.
Queen’s University Belfast came out on top this year, winning a total of seven awards. The University took home awards including Radio Documentary of the Year, Journalist of the Year – National Media, Radio Production of the Year – News & Current Affairs, Radio Journalist of the Year, Podcast of the Year, Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge – Raidió and the prestigious EPA Award for Journalism Relating to the Environment.
Trinity College Dublin were close runners up, winning a total of six awards, while TU Dublin, UCD and UCC followed with four awards each. Two being the highly sought after awards, the European Commission Award awarded to Alana Daly Mulligan and RSA Award for Journalism Relating to Road Safety was awarded to Stephen Moynihan and Molly Kavanagh from UCC.
UL and WIT made their mark on the night taking home three awards each. NUIG and BCFE took home two awards each. DCU, Griffith College, DKIT, DFEI, LCFE, LIT and DBS closed the gap with one award. LIT went home with this year’s People’s Choice Award.
DCU took home Newspaper of the Year for ‘The College View’. In addition, Mostafa Darwish from UL won Journalist of the Year, Editor of the Year, was awarded to Rebecca Daly from TU Dublin and Sports Writer of the Year, was awarded to Ivan Smyth from UL.
Ciara Mahon, Manager of Oxygen.i.e. said: ‘We are delighted to have another successful year of the Smedia’s, even in the unprecedented situation that we are all living in today. This year’s standard was phenomenal and we were so impressed with the hard work of these students this year especially as we had a jump in entry submissions. I applaud each and every one of you who participated in the Smedia’s 2021’.