One of Mark Collins’ photos, which impressed the judges.

National award for Tipp photographer

The 21st National Student Media Awards (Smedias) took place last month and Mark Collins from Holycross took home the highly prestigious News Photographer of the Year Award. Mark is currently studying Photography, Year 1 at LCFE in Limerick. His inspiration comes from what he sees. Mark needs to create as it keeps him sane and content.

This year’s Smedia Awards took place virtually via a YouTube and Facebook livestream celebrating the hard work and efforts of all the nominees. Despite a global pandemic, the awards went ahead for the 21st year with great enthusiasm and a 60% increase in student applicant entries.

Hosted by Oxygen.i.e, the Smedias is one of the most important dates in the student calendar. The SMEDIAs allows students to showcase their work in Journalism, Radio and TV Production, Broadcasting and Writing to prominent figures from the Irish media industry to judge.

An impressive line-up of judges included The Irish Independent’s Editor Fionnán Sheahan, The Irish Times’ News Editor Mark Hennessy, Alan Steenson, Editor of The Herald, The Irish Mirror’s Sports Editor, Neil Fullerton, and The Editor of the Irish Examiner, Sheila Reilly, and various editors and producers from Ireland’s leading media organisations. Various high-profile presenters such as Angela Scanlon, Maura Derrane, Muireann O’Connell, Richard Chambers, among others.

Tipperary’s up and coming student journalists and radio producers made their mark in this year’s Smedias. They were commended for their extraordinary work in various genres of journalism by distinguished judges on a national level.

Queen’s University Belfast came out on top this year, winning a total of seven awards.