#SPANC20 took place on 3-4 October 2020, six months after the postponement of the original dates. This year’s National Conference was our biggest event yet, with 450 tickets sold and over 1,200 nominations for our prestigious awards. For the first time ever, we were also able to offer our National Conference completely free to all guests.

We held nearly 30 talks, workshops and panels with a huge range of people from within the media industry, on topics as diverse as the Freedom of Information Act, column-writing and getting your first full-time job. All recorded sessions will be made available as soon as possible.

We also announced the winners of the SPA Awards for 2020, and held our Annual General Meeting. The details of both of these are below.

SPA Awards 2020

Best Publication

Winner: Exeposé (University of Exeter)
Highly Commended: The Mancunion (University of Manchester)

Billy Dowling-Reid Award

Winner: Ben Standring (The Mic)
Highly Commended: Katie Moncur (Impact Magazine)

Best Reporter

Winner: Steph Spyro (River Online)
Highly Commended: Chris Matthews (Concrete) and Bethany Dawson (Incite)

Best News Story

Winner: Bec Oakes and Lily Martin (The Mancunion)
Highly Commended: Patrick Sullivan and Isaac Haigh (Epigram)

Best Specialist Publication

Winner: The York Historian (University of York)
Highly Commended: theGIST (Glasgow universities)
Special Mention: La Civetta (University of Bristol)

Best Overall Digital Media

Winner: Epigram (University of Bristol)
Highly Commended: The Boar (University of Warwick)

Best Newcomer Publication

Winner: The Oxford Blue (University of Oxford)
Highly Commended: Platform Magazine (Nottingham Trent University)

Best Website

Winner: Impact Magazine (University of Nottingham)
Highly Commended: Epigram (University of Bristol)

Best Science/Tech Section

Winner: The Courier (Newcastle University)
Highly Commended: Forge Press (The University of Sheffield)

Best Human Rights Story

Winner: Lucia Posteraro (The Glasgow Guardian)
Highly Commended: Colin Vanelli (The Beaver), Neha Shaji (Exeposé) and Izabela Chmielewska (Swell Magazine)

Best Comment Piece

Winner: Claudia Parker (InQuire)
Highly Commended: Chris Timmins (GUM)
Special Mention: Hannah Patterson (The Glasgow Guardian)

Best Interview

Winner: Tristan Phipps (The Mic)
Highly Commended: Lois Heslop (The Oxford Blue)

Best Science or Tech Piece

Winner: Javier Bautista (Kinesis)
Highly Commended: Maddie Jenkins (York Vision) and Kirstin Leslie (theGIST)

Best Entertainment Piece

Winner: Sophie Chapman (RAZZ Magazine)
Highly Commended: Kate Procter (Forge Press)

Best Feature

Winner: Lauren Bolan (Trinity News)
Highly Commended: Patrick Walker (Nouse)
Special Mention: Sam Cox (Trinity News)

Best Lifestyle Piece

Winner: Anonymous Writer (RAZZ Magazine)
Highly Commended: Liam Gould (The Boar)

Best Magazine Design

Winner: The Magdalen (University of Dundee)
Highly Commended: Swell Magazine (Kingston University)
Special Mention: Quench Magazine (Cardiff University)

Best Newspaper Design

Winner: Redbrick (University of Birmingham)
Highly Commended: Forge Press (University of Sheffield)

Best Photographer

Winner: Yuval Caspi (Pi Media)
Highly Commended: Lucy North (The Atrium News)

Congratulations to all award-winners! We’re currently in the process of sending out the relevant trophies and certificates, and if you’re yet to give us an address for your award, please email chair@spajournalism.com as soon as possible.

Annual General Meeting

Our AGM saw reports from this year’s Executive Committee and Trustees a number of motions proposed by members of the SPA, as well as the election of a new Executive Committee and Trustees for 2020/21.


Motion 1Passed
Motion 2Passed
Motion 3aPassed
Motion 3bNot advanced
Motion 4Passed
Motion 5Passed
Motion 6Fell
Motion 7Fell
Motion 8Passed

All passed motions are now SPA policy.


Chair: Ben Warner
Training and Opportunities Officer: Charlotte Colombo
Conference and Events Officer: Chay Quinn

The positions of Communications Officer and Sponsorship Officer were unfilled at our AGM, and were later filled in By-Elections.

Elections were also held to elect four Trustees on a Single Transferable Vote system. The candidate with the most votes will serve a full four-year term, the second most will serve three years, and so on.

Jem Collins will serve until 2024
Geri Scott will serve until 2023
Bree Allegretti will serve until 2022
Conor Matchett will serve until 2021

Click here to read the minutes of our AGM.