Former journalism students celebrate at Sony Awards 2009

Jonathan Blake won bronze in the News and Current Affairs Award presenter category

Jonathan Blake won bronze in the News and Current Affairs Award presenter category

Six alumni of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) division of journalism have been rewarded for their efforts in a national awards ceremony.

The recent graduates all scooped their awards and nominations at the recent Sony Awards 2009 in London.

UCLan graduate and producer of the Vanessa Feltz show, Kate Williams, won gold in the Speech Radio Personality of the Year Award – an amazing achievement.

The judges were very impressed with her work saying: “The Vanessa Feltz show brings humanity and an authentic personality to her programmes, covering a broad range of subjects and emotions and always relating and engaging with the listener with a sharp wit and intelligence.”

Mark Edwardson, UCLan Journalism graduate, also scooped gold in the Breaking News Award category for ‘The Rangers Riot’. The judges praised the quality of reporting on the programme, saying: “This entry truly covered the story before, during and after the event. Providing an objective view on the traumatic and dramatic events that took place in Manchester over 24 hours and beyond, there was no small degree of danger involved in bringing this story to listeners.

“Despite this, the journalism remained cool and restrained and brilliantly painted a picture of the situation, taking on board the views and first hand accounts of everyone involved. Programming took the story on and gave voice to a city in shock.”

Jonathan Blake won bronze in the News and Current Affairs Award presenter category. Jonathan, who graduated from the MA Broadcast Journalism in 2004, currently works for BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat as a Broadcast Journalist. Of his time at UCLan Jonathan said: “The time since I graduated has flown by. Working in a newsroom is nearly always a busy job and before you know it you’ve been somewhere long enough to move on. I’ve found what I learned at UCLan invaluable and often the knowledge and experience I picked up has put me in a great position to take on challenges.”

You can see a full interview with Jonathan on the UCLan website

Hannah Morrison, who graduated from UCLan in 2003, also won bronze in the News and Current Affairs Award reporter category and works for Radio One’s Newsbeat.
Sony praised the Newsbeat team, saying: “Newsbeat on Radio 1 consistently delivers as a news and current affairs show on a music network. The content on knife crime statistics particularly stood out as a great example of objective and balanced journalism in an overall excellent entry.”

Kevin Silverton, UCLan Journalism alumni and current Head of News at The Wrap, was awarded a nomination in the News and Current Affairs Award category. The judges praised the work of Kevin’s team, saying: “This programme clearly understands and relates to its audience. It has a way of making stories relevant and is not afraid to tackle controversial issues. The judges were impressed by the high production values.”

Richard Atherton, a UCLan Journalism graduate, was part of the team who scooped bronze in The Listener Anticipation award category for his work on the Stephen Nolan show. The programme really got the attention of the judges, who said: “The first five minutes of this entry alone was worth a Sony Prize. Stunning.”

Mike Ward, Head of the School of Journalism, Media and Communication, praised the achievement of the graduates and the teaching at UCLan, saying: “Once again, it’s great to see how our graduates continue to prosper after leaving UCLan. For the teaching staff this is an important benchmark for achievement – that our former students continue to progress and develop in this way. We are delighted for them.”

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