University of Derby students take top honours at Midlands Media Student Awards

11 April 2019

Five Journalism students from the University of Derby were honoured at this year’s Midlands Media Student Awards, hosted by Birmingham Press Club last night (10 April).

The awards acknowledge the achievements of next-generation journalists, broadcasters and photographers, with the event attracting hundreds of entries from universities and colleges across the region.

A total of 15 Derby students were nominated. David Wainwright (second-year Specialist Sports Journalism) and Adam Barker (first-year Football Journalism) won their category outright, while Louis Mitchell (second-year Football Journalism), Becky Tombs (second-year Journalism student) and Tom Smith (second-year Football Journalism) were highly commended in their class.

David and Adam were joint winners of the sports journalism category – David for his interviews with boxing heavyweight Dillian Whyte and flyweight Conor Blackshaw, and Adam for a range of work on topics including coaching, Wayne Rooney’s legacy and a Norwich City match report. Louis was highly commended in the same category for his articles on the world of women’s football.

Becky was highly commended in the news category for using her initiative in seeking customers comments for an article on shop closures and the problems facing small businesses.

Tom was highly commended in the social media class for his work in Russia for the Football Supporters’ Federation and while covering the Under 17 Euro Football Championships in England.

David, who would like to work as a journalist for Boxing News after graduation, said: “I can't put into words how happy I am about winning the award. The course has been tremendous and the lecturers have taught me so much. It pushes you to make professional contacts and I like to think that because it has helped me improve my writing standards. I would also really like to thank my wife, Louise, and my mum, Sue, because I wouldn't be here without their help and support.”

Senior Lecturer in Journalism Sarah Chapman added: “It was such a proud moment to see the fantastic talent from our courses at the University of Derby receive recognition at these awards. Our students were competing against students from other institutions, some of whom are in their final year, working in industry and postgraduates, so the achievements of our budding journalists cannot be overestimated.

“This was the first time the University of Derby has got involved with the awards – an idea driven by my colleague Arran Bee – and we did tremendously well. Bring on 2020!”

The event was held at Mama Roux’s leisure venue in Digbeth, Birmingham, hosted by BBC Radio WM presenter Alex Noble.

Find out more about studying Journalism at the University of Derby.

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