Staffordshire University graduates shine at Midlands Media Awards

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Six Staffordshire University journalism graduates are celebrating after scooping honours at the Midlands Media Awards at the Mailbox in Birmingham.

Jennie Aitken and Lewis Cox won their categories outright, while Michael Sibert, Jack Furness, Michael McCann and Robert Trigg were highly commended in their class.

It’s the latest in a long line of success for Staffordshire University at the annual awards.

The event, hosted by ITV News Central’s Bob Warman and Chairman of the Birmingham Press Club Llewela Bailey, aims to recognise the best talent in journalism in the Midlands region.

Former Broadcast Journalism student Michael Sibert, who now works for ITV Central and Sports Journalism graduate Lewis Cox, at Express and Star, were both nominated for Sports Journalist of the Year. Lewis went on to win that category.

Jennie Aitken (left)

BA Journalism graduate Jack Furness and MA Sports Journalism graduate Michael McCann were highly commended in the Newcomer of the Year category.

MA journalism graduates Robert Trigg, for Free Radio, and Jennie Aitken, for BBC Radio Stoke, were also nominated for Radio Journalist of the year.

Jennie, who’s now working for BBC Radio Stoke, won that award outright while Rob was highly commended.

Jennie said: “At Staffs we learned the skills of what it’s like to be a producer, what it’s like to be a reporter, what it’s like to be a newsreader, and what it’s like to be on air.

“Why Staffs? I’ll tell you why Staffs, that’s where all the good journalists go.

“I don’t know a bad journalist from Staffs.”

Lewis added: “I can’t speak highly enough of the lecturers at Staffs, the people they know and the opportunities they can get you and what they teach you are unreal.”

Lewis Cox

Jack, who works at The Sentinel in Stoke-on-Trent, said: “The course appealed to me because it was NCTJ accredited which is really important.

“It just had a really good vide, the lecturers are really lovely and everyone gets on. It was the best three years of my life.”

Michael added: “I really enjoyed my time at Staffs, it’s really great to be up for newcomer of the year, this is the first time it’s happened.

“Being put under a lot of pressure in an environment that felt like it as a real working environment was by miles what stood out for me for Staffs.”

Pete Leydon, Senior Lecturer in Journalism at Staffordshire University, said: “It’s such a proud moment to watch fantastic talent from our journalism courses go on to achieve such awards and recognition.

“It demonstrates everything we do on our undergraduate and postgraduate courses helps produce amazingly employable graduates who can go on to achieve success in their chosen field.”

Staffordshire University journalism students and graduates have won multiple awards at MMA every year since 2010.

(Pictured above – Jack Furness, Michael Sibert and Michael McCann)

(Additional reporting by Katie Jones)

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