UCC collected eight of the awards, among them Blog of the Year for Robert Byrne; Magazine of the Year for Motley magazine; Colour Writer of the Year for Robert O’Sullivan; and Editor of the Year for Motley editor,Ellen Desmond. Trailing behind UCC in the rankings were UCD, Griffith College and University of Limerick.
More than 400 students attended, what they have dubbed, the Smedias which were MC’d by RTÉ’s Eoghan McDermott and held in the Aviva Stadium. Among the awards presenters were seasoned journalists RTÉ’s Teresa Mannion, and UTV’s Alison Comyn.
The judging panel for the awards included Irish Examiner editor Tim Vaughan; RTÉ’s head of comedy and talent development Eddie Doyle; editor in chief of Newstalk Garret Harte; Irish Times news editor Mark Hennessy; and chairwoman of TG4 and chief executive of Ardmore Studios, Siún Ní Raghallaigh.
Students from across the country had submitted entries for the awards and the judges noted that some of the work was of a standard that one would expect from someone who had many years of experience in their respective professional field.
Other top award winners included Trinity College student Sarah Taaffe Maguire who won the Irish Examiner-sponsored Journalist of the Year category.
The overall Newspaper of the Year award went to UCD’s University Observer which also scooped the Website of the Year accolade.
The Photographer of the Year award was presented to Griffith College Dublin student James Keown and Sports Writer of the Year went to UCD’s Conall Cahill.
The awards, in their 16th year, are organised by student website Oxygen.ie. Ciara Mahon, manager of Oxygen.ie, said: “The National Student Media Awards have become a nationally-recognised award for any budding media student in Ireland, gaining more momentum as each year passes.
“This year the calibre of talent made it a challenging experience for both judges and nominees We are delighted to see the continued desire to win a Smedia amongst students as it is an indication of their talent to future employers in the media industry. Each year, the level of competition is increasing, and this year was no exception.”