Tipperary journalism student Marisa Kennedy, Lorrha, leads award winning UL team

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Tipperary student leads her team to win national accolade for journalism

Tipperary student Marisa Kennedy

Journalism students at UL have scooped the prestigious Newspaper of the Year title at the National Student Media Awards.

Limerick Voice a 40-page local newspaper, produced by masters and fourth year Journalism and New Media students and edited by Lorrha student Marisa Kennedy, won the top media award in the category sponsored by The Irish Times.

The UL newspaper is part of a module taught to journalism students and is published every December with The Limerick Leader newspaper.

Limerick Voice also has a strong digital presence and its news website www.limerickvoice.com, was nominated for Website of the Year at the 2018 Smedias.

Limerick Voice 2017 was also nominated in a number of other categories.

“To receive this recognition from some of the most well-known names in the media industry is a wonderful testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Limerick Voice team. This win is yet another confirmation that UL is establishing itself as one of the country's leading hubs for journalism and I hope that this win will spark further success for the university in future years,” said 22-year-old Marisa.

Third year Journalism and New Media student Mark Boylan, 20, was named Sports Writer of the Year at the National Student Media Awards or the Smedias as they are more popularly known.

The Banagher, County Offaly, man, who recently completed a work placement with the Racing Post, was honoured for three stories he had published in the newspaper, including a two-page feature on Ruby Walsh and the now retired Limerick racing legend Beef or Salmon.

“As someone with an enormous passion for horse racing, the seven months I spent with the Racing Post for my work placement from UL were unbelievably enjoyable and I'm very grateful for the effort that all the staff invested in improving me as a reporter,” he said. 

The Smedias 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 media industry leaders including Mark Hennessy, news editor of the Irish Times, and Fionnan Sheahan, editor of the Irish Independent.

UL journalism students were nominated in a number of other categories, including fourth-year student Simon Bourke from Kilkenny, who was nominated for Journalist of the Year and received a special judges’ mention.

Among Simon’s stories was a report of one Limerick family’s extraordinary journey to ease the agony of terminal illness, which was first published in Limerick Voice.

Kathryn Hayes, course director BA in Journalism and New Media, who oversees the Limerick Voice module, said she was delighted to see the work of journalism students acknowledged by industry leaders.

UL Head of Journalism Mary Dundon congratulated Limerick Voice editor Marisa Kennedy and all the students involved in winning this prestigious national award.

She also congratulated Mark Boylan on winning the Sports Journalist of the Year award.