USW journalism students recognised with two wins at the BJTC Awards

Students at the University of South Wales picked up two gongs at the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BJTC) Awards last night.

© Beccy Leach

The annual ceremony takes place to highlight outstanding work by journalism students across the country, and was held virtually for the first time. It was hosted by BBC Midlands’ Political Editor Elizabeth Glinka and BBC Breakfast Editor, Richard Frediani.

USW’s first win of the night was for Best Virtual / Online Newsday. The newsday, which took place during a Coronavirus lockdown, included an exclusive top story from Emily Price, which made headlines in the national press.

The group were commended by the judges for the way they dealt with the story, giving clear context and background, and also for using a range of contributors – other stories came from students in Denmark, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the USA.

The second win was the Steve Harris Award, which recognises the stand-out entry for all of the submitted entries – it looks at originality, endeavour and excellence. It also comes with a £500 prize. And, for the first time, the award was given to a group rather than an individual.

Richard Frediani, who was also Head Judge, said: “You should be incredibly proud of it. It was an incredible effort. It wasn’t just a scoop on its own – that was a fantastic achievement – but it was how you all worked as a team together.”

Speaking after the second win, Emily Price (pictured below) said: “I can’t believe it. When we won the first time that was great for us, but the second time as well. We’re just so happy.

“Everyone just came together and it was brilliant. The way it turned out, considering that we’re in a pandemic and we had to do this from home, it turned out absolutely brilliantly.”

© Beccy Leach

She went on to thank the lecturers of the BA (Hons) Journalism course, including Craig Hooper and Beccy Leach.

Beccy said: “It was so difficult when university ended suddenly because of lockdown. We started the virtual newsdays to bring the student back together – and there were so many important stories to cover.

“The tech was all new to us and we had to learn fast. All credit to Emily who dealt so well with a strong public interest story and to the rest of the team who worked hard to bring the whole bulletin together.”

Also nominated this year was recent graduate Dan Moffat, for his Gavin & Stacey-themed radio documentary 10 Years On: What’s Occurring on Barry Island? He was also part of the award-winning virtual newsday.

Speaking after the ceremony, he said: “I’m so proud that the whole of us came together during a really tough time and pulled together a story that was exclusive and caused ructions here in Wales and beyond. I think we also covered the story fairly with political analysis.

“Winning the award proves how strong the course at USW is in giving us the skills we need.”

You can watch the full ceremony here.

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