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Journalism student scoops national award

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Published on 08 May 2017

Journalism student Sophie Dishman
Journalism student Sophie Dishman

A Sunderland journalism student’s outstanding reporting skills have landed her a national award.

Sophie Dishman was Highly Commended for Best Reporter in the national Student Publications Association (SPA) awards, across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Now in her second year at the University of Sunderland, Sophie, who edits SRNews, a news and current affairs website based in Sunderland, had been shortlisted for Best Reporter and Outstanding Commitment in the SPA awards earlier this year.

After collecting her award at the annual awards ceremony, Sophie, from Northumberland, said: “I’m absolutely honoured to accept this award as I couldn’t have done it without the support of the SRNews team, the mediaHUB and the support from staff at the University of Sunderland.

“The conference has been an amazing experience and it has definitely kept my passion for journalism alive and has given me even more ideas!”

Photo credit: Ryan Lim

The University’s online mediaHUB publications, including  SRNews Fashion North, Northern Lights and Sportsbyte, and several journalism students had also been shortlisted for a total of eight SPA awards this year. They included: Ryan Lim - Best Photographer (SRNews), Hannah Parker - Best Entertainment (Northern Lights), Alessia Lawrence - Best Interview (Fashion North), Fashion North - Best Specialist Publication, Sportsbyte - Best Sports Coverage and SRNews- Best Website.

Alistair Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Journalism at the University of Sunderland and Sophie’s Programme Leader, said: “I am so delighted for Sophie – and so proud of her. She has worked very hard – not only on her university modules but in her own time as a reporter and editor for our mediaHUB websites, notably SRNews and Northern Lights. She has in fact worked as a journalist all the time she has been studying journalism with us. She thoroughly deserves this award – I hope it is the first of many for her.”

Alistair added: “It was great to have so many nominations at the awards. The mediaHUB and its websites have become such an important part of our teaching at the university – they’re a great showcase for our students’ work and a chance for them to have real-life experience every day of working as journalists. We are very proud of our student reporters and are sure they will continue to deliver passionate, informative journalism in the future!”

Formed in 2012 at the University of Southampton, SPA is the largest student media association which celebrates and awards journalism students and their publications across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Read Sophie’s Blog to find out more about her personal journey as a journalism student at the University of Sunderland.

Photo Credit: Ryan Lim