STAFFORDSHIRE University has had a hugely successful evening at the Midlands Media Awards – coming away with prizes and nominations in numerous categories.
In total four students, two graduates and one lecturer were nominated for awards on the evening – and the nominees came away with two prestigious wins.
Ben Lowe, who is doing an MA in Broadcast Journalism, was named this year’s Student Journalist of the Year, after being nominated alongside fellow MA student, Robert Trigg, and undergraduates Daniel Milligan and Stuart Hodge.
Also, the Derby Telegraph’s Rachel Butler, a Staffordshire University journalism graduate, won the Newcomer of the Year award, having been nominated alongside another graduate, Staffordshire Life’s James Montgomery.
And finally, Ben Lowe was also nominated for the Online Journalist of the Year Award, alongside the University’s Senior Lecturer in Media and Journalism Ross Hawkes.
Ben, 22, from Burntwood, said: “It feels really great to win the student journalist award. I was nominated last year – when we had three other nominations as well – but we didn’t come away with anything. So this year we had our fingers crossed and I was really delighted to get the award. It’s a very pleasant surprise to be nominated for online journalist too.
“For Staffordshire University to receive so many nominations is wonderful news and testament to how good the journalism courses and lecturers are.”
Ben’s win at the Midlands Media Awards is for his work towards his MA as well as his stories on the student news website StaffsLive.
Alongside his news reporting, Ben has been working on his main dissertation project, creating a documentary on stand-up comedians. For this, Ben has interviewed a host of well-known stand-ups, including: Jo Brand, Russell Howard, Johnny Vegas and Lenny Henry. He’s also had a go at stand-up himself and is set to appear at the Comedy Store in London later this month.
He said: “I’ve spent a year working hard on my documentary dissertation – which is about stand-up comedy and how much I can learn about being funny in six months – and it’s now nearly finished.
“I’ve interviewed 15 comedians and the main reason why they wanted to spend time with me was because they think what I’m doing – learning to be funny and doing stand-up – is a ridiculous idea.
He added: “I’m never doing stand-up again after this! My dream is to be a TV producer.”
Sarah Rowlands, Head of Journalism at Staffordshire University, said: “To have half of the student nominations at the Midlands Media Awards demonstrates the extra star quality that exists among our journalism students.
“Ben is an outstanding journalist and he’ll go far. His final piece of work is likely to open new and exciting doors for him. His work is always of very high professional standard. We’re delighted for his win which is richly deserved.”
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