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University scoops third of all prizes at student journalism awards

Entrants from the same university scooped one-third of all prizes at a ceremony celebrating the best in student journalism.

Four students at Staffordshire University were honoured at the 2016 Midlands Media Students Awards, which attracted more than 150 entries from 13 different institutions across the region.

Natasha Hardy, Rebecca Heyes, Antoine Omisore and Robert Smith were the Staffordshire quartet to triumph – winning the Scoop of the Year, Investigation, Humour and Activist awards respectively.

Natasha’s win came as a result of an exclusive interview with a grieving father about investigations into the death of his three-year-old son at Stafford Hospital, while Robert’s Remembrance Day feature story on a Yeomanry veteran hailed the “luckiest man in the desert” saw him win his category.

Rebecca’s story about a Staffordshire rugby team’s kit blunder sealed her victory, while Antoine’s piece on a man who battled a sex addiction to become a counsellor impressed the judges.

Students from the University of Lincoln scooped a total of three awards, while the night’s other big winner was Conor Rees, below, of the University of Worcester.

Conor, who is currently seeking a full-time journalism job, triumphed in the Online Innovation and Blogger/Vlogger categories, before being named Media Student of the Year.

The Birmingham Press Club-run awards, originally launched last year with the aim of recognising future talent in broadcasting, journalism and photography, attracted entries from university and college students in Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Lincoln, Nottingham, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and Worcester.

Press Club chairman Ed James said: “The media industry is going through some challenging times at the moment. However, quality journalism will always be in demand and if the undoubted talent that we have seen in the awards is anything to go by, then there will not be a shortage of that in the future.”

The full list of award winners was:

Active Journalism – Antoine Omisore, Staffordshire University

Blogger/Vlogger – Conor Rees, University of Worcester

Data Journalism – Maria Crosas Batista, Birmingham City University

Entertainment – Danielle Skerrett (Group Entry), University of Lincoln

Humour – Rebecca Heyes, Staffordshire University

Infographics – Laura Moody, Nottingham Trent University

Investigation – Robert Smith, Staffordshire University

Online Innovation – Conor Rees, University of Worcester

Public Affairs – Chelsea James, University of Worcester

Scoop – Natasha Hardy, Staffordshire University

Sport – Adam Tomlinson (Group Entry), University of Lincoln

Video Journalism – Chris Gray, University of Lincoln

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