#SPANC17 Awards Open – The Student Journalism Awards

The highlight of the student journalism calendar, the SPA Awards aim to recognise the very best in student media across both the UK and Ireland. The shortlist will be announced on Wednesday, March 29th at 7pm.

Students and recent graduates are able to submit work across 16 categories, which will be put before industry experts.

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony during our national conference, with a shortlist revealed beforehand.

Here’s all the info you need to know:

The Basics

The awards have now closed for entries this year. We will be releasing shortlists on this page on Wednesday, March 29th at 7pm.

If you have any queries about the awards in the meantime, please contact awards@spajournalism.com.

Shortlisting

All entries will be sent to the shortlisting committee before being sent to our panel of industry experts. We will announce the shortlist as soon as reasonably possible. The shortlisting committee comprises of working journalists and includes:

  • Aubrey Allegretti, Politics Reporter at the Huffington Post
  • Natasha Clark, Politics Reporter at The Sun
  • Jem Collins, News Editor at RightsInfo
  • Fraser Whieldon, Reporter at Herts Advertiser
  • Zaki Dogliani, Freelancer Reporter

Awards Categories

Best Student Photographer
Judged by: SNS Group
Submission Guidelines: Include three photographs and a 300 word supporting statement

This category recognises the best student photographers in the country, who provide their student publications with memorable, high-quality images showing student life and events.

Best Comment or Opinion
Judged by: Asa Bennett, Assistant Comment Editor, The Telegraph
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words

This category showcases the best comment or opinion writing from a writer at a student publication. It will take into account structure, relevance to the audience and impact of the piece.

Best Entertainment Piece
Judged by: Rebecca Lewis, Entertainment Reporter, Metro.co.uk
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words

This category can focus on various areas such as music, film and culture. An example could be a music preview, a film critique or a theatre review.

Best Interview
Judged by: Daisy Wyatt, Deputy Digital Editor, the i Paper
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words

This category aims to recognise the best interviews made by student publications, whether that be with politicians, musicians, or even a local community worker, looking at the style, presentation and impact of the interview.

Best Feature
Sponsored by: Mirren Gidda, Feature Writer, Newsweek International
Judged by: TBA
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words

This category is for longer, magazine style pieces, about a specific area or focus. Judges will look at flow, structure, impact, passion and storytelling. E.g. Investigative journalism, content with impact.

Best News Story
Judged by: Louise Ridley, News Editor, Longform and Special Projects, BuzzFeed
Submission Guidelines: Include one story and a supporting statement of 300 words

This category is designed to recognise quality news reporting from student publications. It will take into account quality of sources, structure, and impact of the article on the intended audience.

Best Specialist Publication
Judged by: Brenda Wong, Head of Social, Debut Careers
Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 document of supporting evidence in any format

This category has been introduced to recognise the best specialist student publication, whether this is an academic journal, fashion website or science magazine. It will take into account quality of content, design and other achievements.

Best Newcomer Publication
Judged by: Ashley Davies, Freelance Reporter
Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 document of supporting evidence in any format

This category recognises the best new publication in student member. Publications must be no more than three years old at the time the awards closes. It will take into account quality of content, relevance to the student community and achievements in other awards.

Best Sports Coverage
Sponsored by: James Toney, Managing Editor, Sportsbeat
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format.

This category aims to recognise the best overall sports coverage by student publications, whether it be coverage of BUCS events, Varsity series’ or other university sports events.

Best Use of Digital Media
Sponsored by: Matt Taylor, Digital Strategy and Development, The Times
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format

This category will recognise the most innovative use of multimedia platforms, including audio and video, to enhance their publication’s content. This also includes the use of social media networks.

Best Design – Magazine / Newspaper
Judged by: Yoav Segal, Creative Director, RightsInfo
Judged by: Ashley Austin, Designer, KM Group
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format.

This category aims to recognise the best-designed student publications across the country. It is split into two sub-categories for magazine and newspaper. Please enter your publication into the respective sub-category and state this on the nomination form.

Best Website
Judged by: Alan Hunter, Head of Digital, The Times and The Sunday Times
Submission Guidelines: Include one A4 document of supporting evidence in any format

This category will recognise the best overall website and take into account design, production, content, overall impact, and user engagement.

Best Reporter
Judged by: William Coles, Former Royal Reporter, The Sun
Submission Guidelines: Include a portfolio of three stories and a supporting statement of 300 words
This category rewards consistently exceptional news reporting from an individual at a student publication. It will take into account the range of stories, impact on the intended audience and the quality of journalism.

Outstanding Commitment Award
Judged by: Ben Jackson, Former Winner and Sub-Editor, The Daily Mail
Submission Guidelines: Include 500 words supporting statement. This cannot be entered yourself, you can only nominate other people.

This category aims to reward those members of publications who have shown outstanding commitment to their title over the last year, going above and beyond the call of duty.

Best Publication
Judged by: Press Association Training
Submission Guidelines: Include two A4 document of supporting evidence in any format

This category will recognise the best student publication, and shall take into account overall relevance to their student community, quality of content produced, and achievements across the other award categories.

Rules

  1. Please submit nominations only to awards@spajournalism.com with a subject heading: ‘[AWARD YOU’RE ENTERING] – [NAME], [PUBLICATION].’
  2. Only students of the current academic year (2016/2017), or graduates from 2016 may enter the awards.
  3. All work entered must have been produced or published between 1st March 2016 to 20th March 2017. Please make the date of publication clear on your submissions.
  4. All work entered must have been produced for a student publication in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland
  5. Any publication entering the awards MUST be a member of the Student Publication Association. This will be checked on closure of the nominations period and any awards received from non-members will be disqualified.
  6. All articles/images submitted must be clearly shown to have been published in a student publication.
  7. Each entry may only be entered into one category, with the exception of ‘Best Publication’, which may include information from other entries.
  8. In a situation where two members enter the same supporting documents for different categories, the decision on which to enter will reside with the publication’s editor.
  9. All material will be judged as received.
  10. Any part of your entry may be used by the SPA for promotional purposes.
  11. Entries must be submitted as PDF and DOC files only (except images).
  12. Entries must be original work. Any plagiarism detected will result in immediate disqualification.
  13. The judge decisions are final.
  14. While we will endeavour to provide feedback to all entries, this may not always be possible.

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