Twenty-two-year-old DCU student Michael McHale, from Ballyvary, scooped the coveted Best Journalist award, sponsored by the Irish Examiner, at the 3 student media awards. It was judged by Tim Vaughen, the Examiner's editor.
McHale, who entered the awards last year but was not shortlisted, has been active in student media for two years. He first acted as a news correspondent for DCU’s College View newspaper in 2007, before progressing to the post of news editor and finally assuming the editorship of the paper in January this year. He finishes his degree this summer and hopes to find work in journalism straight away, particularly in the field of news reporting.
The awards were attended by some 500 students and various celebrity judges, presenters, and guests, including MC Ray Foley of Today FM, Senator David Norris, RTÉ’s Kathryn Thomas and Aidan Power, comedian Pat Shortt, Paul Williams of the Sunday World, Dan & Becs star Holly White, and Lord Mayor of Dublin Eibhlin Byrne.
Reflecting the esteem in which the 3 Smedias are held by the media industry, many high profile national journalists were in attendance, such as Eoin McVey, managing editor of The Irish Times, Noirín Hegarty, editor of the Sunday Tribune, Michaél O Meallaigh, commissioning director of TG4, and The Irish Times’ film critic Michael Dwyer.
Former Smedia winner and current RTÉ news reporter Samantha Libreri, who also judged and presented at this year’s awards, said: “The Student Media Awards are a great way of acknowledging the hundreds of hours, mainly voluntary, that students devote to producing newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes which inform and entertain their fellow students and are such an important fabric of student life.”