Staffs scoop at Student Midland Media Awards

Four journalism students from Staffordshire University have scooped top honours at the 2016 Student Midlands Media Awards.
An amazing 16 students in total from Staffordshire were shortlisted in the awards, which attracted more than 150 entries from 13 different institutions. And four of those – Natasha Hardy, Rebecca Heyes, Antoine Omisore and Robert Smith – won their categories. This meant Staffordshire University secured a third of the 12 categories.
Natasha, won 'Scoop of the Year', with an exclusive interview with a grieving father into the investigations into the death of his 3-year-old son at Stafford Hospital.
Robert was winner in the 'Investigation' award for his superb Remembrance Day feature story on a Yeomanry veteran hailed the “luckiest man in the desert”.
Rebecca had the judges laughing with her brilliant story about a Staffordshire rugby team’s kit blunder, winning her the 'humour' category.
And Antoine was overall winner in the 'Activist' category, thanks to a powerful feature piece on a man who battled a sex addiction to become a counsellor.
Other students were highly commended for their work at the awards ceremony at Austin Court in Birmingham, organised by the Birmingham Press Club.
These included:
-      Laura O'Callaghan for a feature on Burslem in the 'Data Journalism' category.
-      Tom Burnett, in 'Humour' for his feature 'Five reasons Staffordshire oatcakes are the best food ever?'
-      Natasha Hardy, in 'Investigations' for a piece on the struggle to see an NHS dentist
-      Tom Burnett and Philip Cullinane in 'Public Affairs' category, for Tom's piece on Donald Trump, and Phillip’s article on MP Tristram Hunt urges students to take Labour forward
-      Tom Burnett again in the ‘Sport’ category for his excellent story on a Ugandan Stoke City fan who set up football team in Africa to honour the Potters
-      Emma James in the ‘Scoop’ category for her exclusive on a family’s anger at a hospital’s blunder over an OAP death from cancer
-      Michael McCann in ‘Sport’ for Match in a Minute – Football around the UK
In total, 16 entries from journalism students at Staffordshire were shortlisted.
Head of Journalism Pete Leydon, course leader for BA Journalism, said: “It's a fantastic achievement, and thoroughly deserved. Our students are taught and guided by fantastic tutors, and their experience working on StaffsLive prepares them like nowhere else to tackle all manner of real-world stories.
“More and more young people are choosing to study journalism at Staffordshire because of our reputation in the industry. Three of the winners were for articles published on StaffsLive, and the other was for a final year project. We’re very proud of them all!”
Staffordshire runs accredited courses in all forms of journalism, including news, sport, public relations, broadcast and games.