Third year Journalism students conclude final project Voice of London with awards ceremony

Third year students from the Journalism BA Honours course concluded their final project, working on the website Voice of London, with an awards ceremony.

Logo for the Voice of London website

For their final project, the students ran their own live news website throughout semester one, where they produced a variety of content in a range of genres from arts and entertainment, lifestyle, news, audio/visual and sports. They also had the task of running the social media accounts associated with the website.

Awards were given to the Best News Story on the site and Best News Story in each section, which the students themselves voted for, as well as awards given by the module’s tutors Jim McClellan, David Gilbert, Steve Hill, David Spencer and Aasiya Lodhi. Each of the winners received a certificate and Amazon voucher as a token of their achievements.

Maelina Hassel won the overall award for the favourite news story with her article ‘Americans vs British slang’. Best News was awarded to Monika Laimaite for her article ‘“Shop out to help out” – am I causing more harm than good?’, while Best Lifestyle Story went to Sara Guadrini for ‘How to keep your long-distance relationship healthy through lockdown’.

Best Sport Story went to Arwa Nadeem for her exclusive interview with rugby player Alex Matthews and Best Arts and Culture Story was awarded to Warshma Chughtai for her listicle style article ‘“Dashing through the shows”: 5 new series to binge this Christmas’.

In the Best Multimedia section, Sara Varga won Best Video for ‘Black Lives Matter: What is it really like to be mixed-race?’ while Best Audio went to Begum Kuruc and Ghila Evansky for their ‘Lockdown Diaries’ series. Best Infographic and Interactive Map was awarded to Shravani Chavan for ‘Inside London’s phone theft epidemic’.

Chloe Rose won an award for Best Logo Design, as well as winning Best Photo Gallery alongside Akanksha Goel. Best Series went to Yasmin Sakki, Best Use of Social media was awarded to Zakia Nissar and Best Headline was given to Ella Webster and Grace Staley. For the Best End of Year 2020 Wrap Up Story, Chiara Ferrari won for ‘Could you describe 2020 in just one word?’, while Best Local Feature went to Leah Trimmer and Best Distinctive Angle on COVID-19 to Jessica Noble.

The No Pain, No Gain award for the most effort writing a story went to Michael Patcha for ‘I took a FREEZING COLD shower every day for a month!’ and Norbert Tarnoczi for ‘Bus vs bicycle: this is how we roll!’. Best Cute Animals Story was awarded to Karolina Pracht and lastly, a special award went to Kristina Hristova for posting stories in all sections.

The site editors, who were also given awards, included Grace Staley, Dina Nazari, Monika Laimate, Gabriela Jimenez Garcia, Sam Tabahriti-Jaabouka, Will Murray and Connor O’Halloran.

Talking about the awards, David Gilbert, Senior Lecturer on the Journalism BA Honours course, said: “We were all delighted by how well the students adapted to the challenge of COVID-19 and still produced very creditable news and feature stories in a range of multimedia. We saw some really engaging videos and wonderful infographics which painted the picture of what life is like in lockdown.

“The students looked for imaginative angles and backed it up with good quality production. When we looked at the analytical data we could see that in the short time they ran the site they were beginning to grow an audience. Voice of London speaks to the audience here in London and the University of Westminster students are at the heart of telling the stories which interest them.”

Source: University of Westminster

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