The first crop of University of Cumbria BA (Hons) Journalism students are starting this September, joining some illustrious company with several former students having won national awards. The new students will be joining a course that has also started many former students on to successful careers in the regional and national press.
Two previous students on the Journalism degree (previously run at Cumbria Institute of the Arts) have won the prestigious Student Online Journalist of the Year from the Student Journalism awards. Cumbria Institute of the Arts became part of the University of Cumbria in August this year.
The most recent award winner was Jack Templeton, who won the award in July this year. Organised by press industry magazine the Press Gazette and sponsored by international news agency Reuters, the award included a £500 cash prize and was held at Reuters headquarters in Canary Wharf, London.
Jack won for his Cumbrian Run website, which is being used as a mini-site by Carlisle’s daily newspaper, the News and Star. He began writing blogs for the paper three years ago and had been working on the site during his final year on the BA (Hons) Journalism course. The judges praised Jack’s work on the site for his excellent understanding of the unique multimedia capabilities of digital journalism. He’s now employed by the News and Star.
"I wasn't expecting to win because it was a national contest - but I am delighted. As an online journalist, I'm looking to do a whole range of things. There isn't one specific role. That's what I thrive off. I'm working with audio, video and print. It's really exciting to work with all the mediums. Even the editors don't know where it is all going, that's the most exciting thing about starting a career in journalism."
Jack was congratulated at the awards by Andy Haigh, who won the same title last year and also studied at the same course at Cumbria Institute of the Arts. Andy now works for the sports desk of The Sun Online in London.
Journalism Course Leader Helen Hutchinson explains:
“We give our students all the skills they need to be able to pursue a career in journalism. We’re accredited by the National Council for the Training for Journalists and Broadcast Journalism Training Council so our students can be confident they are learning the industry standards. I think that the fact we have produced award winners in the past, most recently in July, says a lot about the quality of our students. I’m looking forward to the new academic year and I’m sure we will have more award winners in future.”