BY John Patrick Kierans
DIT came out on top of all the Institutes of Technology when the college took home four awards at the Student Media Awards (SMEDIAS) earlier this month.
Final year journalism student Mary-Kate Findon was the best of the bunch, taking home two awards for ‘Radio Production of the Year: Arts and Features’, and ‘Radio Journalist of the Year’.
The incredible night at the Aviva Stadium, which was hosted by Today FM Presenter Fergal D’Arcy, was attended by over 500 people including Dublin Gaelic Football manager Jim Gavin, RTÉ’s Eileen Dunne and Senator David Norris.
DIT’s magazine Cypher, which is produced by final year journalism students, took home one of the most prestigious prizes on the night; ‘Magazine of the Year.’
Journalism and Irish student Zoe Kinsella made up DIT’s final award, bringing back the gong for ‘Iriseoireacht trí Ghaeilge: Scríofa’.
Double winner Mary-Kate Findon told the Edition: “To say that I was absolutely delighted would be an understatement, especially considering the tough competition I was up against, including my friend Killian Dowling, who was also up for Radio Production of the Year – Arts and Features.
“I would definitely recommend Pat Hannon’s radio module to incoming 4th year journalism students, his guidance and support helped all of us to produce documentaries that we’re proud of, productions that exceeded our own expectations.”
Conor Shields, Editor of Cypher Magazine, said: “We’re absolutely ecstatic since that night.
“We went in with no intentions of winning that award so we were completely taken aback when they called out Cypher.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there but my Deputy Editor, Scott Howe, and my Fashion Editor, Cara Croke, were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the team.
“We, as a class, really put our heart and soul into creating Cypher.
“We wanted an eclectic mix of content which would appeal to our generation and beyond.
“We want people to read our magazine and walk away with knowledge they didn’t have before.”
Irish Language award winner Zoe Kinsella said: “I was shocked to win to be honest. I’ve attended an all Irish school since I was three-years-old and have always loved the language.
“It’s kind of like the cherry on top of finishing my degree now and makes it all feel like it’s come full circle.”
Speaking about the incredible success of DIT students at the awards, Head of Journalism Kate Shanahan said: “Given that there were thousands of entries into the SMEDIAS this year, to actually get to the final list was extraordinary and to get four awards in some of the most heavily contested categories was a great testament to all the students and staff working in the school of media in DIT.”
It was a year which saw the smaller colleges close the gap on the universities, which have dominated the awards in the past.
LIT, WIT, DKIT, IADT, BCFE, SCFE, and ITB all won an award each and Griffith College Dublin took home three awards.
UCD won the most awards, taking home six, while DCU and UCC both picked up five awards each.
Trinity College won two, while the University of Limerick and NUI Galway both won one award each.
UCC won two of the most desired awards, Newspaper of the Year and Journalist of the Year, judged by News Editor of The Irish Times, Mark Hennessey and acting Editor of Irish Examiner, Allan Prosser, respectively.
Organiser of the awards, Ciara Mahon, Operations Director of Generation Y, said: “Another fantastic success for the National Student Media Awards and it is very heartening to see the smaller colleges challenging the dominance of the larger universities.”