Ennis native Kate Harty has scooped a prestigious accolade at the National Student Media Awards hosted for the first time since 2019.
Students joined the ceremony from all over the country to be honoured for their hard work in media and journalism over the last 12 months.
The National Student Media Awards have been running for the past 22 years and have seen media and journalism stars such as Samantha Libreri (Editor of the Year, 2004), Sean Defoe (Radio Journalist of the Year, 2015) and Colm Flynn (TV Production of the Year, 2010) on the podium over the years.
The SMEDIAS have a long history of celebrating Irish student’s achievements in media and have introduced a number of new award categories over the years to reflect the changing skills and and opportunities available in the Irish media industry. Hosted by Oxygen.ie, the SMEDIAS are one of the most important dates in the student calendar. They allow students to showcase their work in Journalism, Radio and TV Production, Broadcasting and Writing to prominent figures from the Irish media industry to judge.
The impressive lineup of judges for the 22nd annual awards ceremony included; journalists and editors from national publications, leaders and stars in Irish media. Some of the celebrated judges included; award-winning author Anne Griffin, award-winning director and screenwriter Robbie Walsh.
The 22nd SMEDIAS ceremony kicked off with a keynote speech from Dee Forbes, director general of RTÉ. The awards were visited by a number of famous faces and media leaders such as Fionnan Sheahan, Ireland Editor of the Irish Independent, Aoife Moore of the Irish Examiner, Ray D’Arcy, Sean Defoe, Zara King and Gavan Reilly.
Ennis native Kate Harty, a student of LCFE took home the prestigious News Photographer of the Year at the ceremony on Thursday. The category was judged by news photographer Michael O’Neill who said of Kate’s work “The photographer got the meaning as to what is a “news picture” as opposed to an image from a news event.” Kate is currently studying photography at Level 5 at LCFE and has been part of Ennis Camera Club for the past 5 years. She mentions the other members of the camera club as her inspiration who push her to improve her work.
Of the evening’s final awards — Trinity College Dublin’s The University Times took home the Irish Times Newspaper of the Year Award, NUIG’s Elizabeth Hunt took home the prestigious Irish Independent Editor of the Year Award for her work on Ethereal Magazine, making Ethereal the first magazine to take home an Editor of the Year award. Finally, Sophie Finn from University College Dublin was awarded the Irish Examiner Journalist of the Year. Recently added category Podcast of the Year which was introduced in 2021 was won by Katie Hackett of TUD and new category Failte Ireland Journalism Relating to Travel was taken home by TCD’s Charles Alexander Moody-Stuart.