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Save the Press Gazette student awards

Roy Greenslade has a full examination of the Awful truth of the lost-making Press Gazette. He gives details of a report commissioned by Associated Newspapers and the Telegraph setting out the dire financial situation and the stewardship of Matthew Freud and Piers Morgan.

This includes £15,000 taken by Freud for bottles of Chateau Lafitte from his cellar for the entertainment of a group of editors. However, Freud does seem to have lost close on £1million.

For more detail you will have to read Greenslade’s post. I have another concern: the future of the Press Gazette’s Student Journalism Awards.

These awards have become an important event which recognises the achievements of the young people who are coming into the business. Over the past few years they have demonstrated the ability and commitment of some very good journalists at the time when they are seeking their first jobs.

These awards are for those studying journalism and in no way replicate the Guardian awards which are for student publications produced, in the main, by student unions.

This year Camelot which has been the sponsor for several years was joined by Reuters which hosted the awards ceremony at its new Canary Wharf headquarters. Whatever happens to the Press Gazette these prizes should be kept going.

Constributions by editors, equivalent to the value of Freud’s wine which they enjoyed, would probably be enough to organise the event for another year.

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  1. Mat says

    Well, I’d disagree having a sabbatical editor competing with those who have to balance editing with their degree, but that’s probably just bitterness on my part!

    Take a handful of those regularly shortlisted, the cambridge, oxford, york papers, and you’ll see no journalism students. Nor much, if any, SU involvement. Probably just some very ropey fact-checking.

    Does any SU involvement matter for the individual writing categories?
    Not a jot.

    Wikipedia suggests that this year’s winning paper was independent of the SU. But then, it is wikipedia…

  2. Andrew Grant-Adamson says

    Not sure what Mat is getting at. For the record, in this year’s Guardian awards the best newspaper, the best magazine and the best website were all associated with students unions. The journalist of the year was the editor of of the winning newspaper.
    Andrew

  3. MartinS says

    Fear not – I suspect anything that makes money will be high on any new owner’s agenda.

  4. Andrew Grant-Adamson says

    Of course not Martin. I have said several times the Gazette itself should be save. It is just that I fear the awards, understandable, might not be high on the agenda of the the new owners who I hope will emerge in the next few days.

  5. Martin says

    Just the awards, Andrew?

  6. Mat says

    “These awards are for those studying journalism and in no way replicate the Guardian awards which are for student publications produced, in the main, by student unions.”

    The majority of the best student papers have no interference from their Student’s Union. Perhaps it’s just worrying that some student papers and magazines are superior, without ploughing their thousands into journalism degrees.
    Some students work their arse off for their student papers, and they would balk at the idea that the SU had anything to do with it!