Over 10,000 transition year students took part in the 6th annual NewsBrands Ireland Press Pass initiative, the largest number to date.
Following the initiative, 16 of those students were awarded for their original journalism, created as part of the Newspapers-in-Education programme.
According to NewsBrands Ireland Chairman, Vincent Crowley: “In challenging times for the newspaper industry, these student awards and our annual national Journalism Awards are a timely reminder of the importance of a free press in Ireland today. We are delighted with how much enthusiasm and awareness Press Pass has generated among a younger audience and are highly impressed with these future journalists being honored at today’s ceremony.”
Since the Press Pass programme launched six years ago, approximately 80,000 students have benefited from it. The programme, which has had the support of the Department of Education since it began, seeks to improve media literacy and critical thinking skills while helping students to develop a deeper understanding of news media and how it communicates about the world around them.
This year, Twitter Ireland partnered with the initiative. According to Sinead Sweeney, MD of Twitter Ireland: “Twitter is proud to support the mission of the Press Pass Programme: to encourage literacy and critical thinking skills while helping students to develop a deeper understanding of news media and how it communicates about the world around them. We are delighted to partner with NewsBrands on this competition. It rewards research,rigour, and analysis – qualities that the best journalists demonstrate when tracking stories on Twitter.”
For the duration of the Press pass programme, participating schools receive newspapers, a specially created workbook, and a Teacher’s Lesson Plan, all free of charge. Students are encouraged to engage with the newspapers in the classroom, to analyse them and then to create their own original journalism, the best of which was entered into a national competition. The winners were selected by a panel of newspaper editors and journalists, chaired by Professor John Horgan, the former Press Ombudsman.
The overall winner this year was Síomha Ni hAinféin, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean, Co. Kerry. A full list of all the winners is below.
Overall winner: Síomha Ni hAinféin (Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean)
Features: 1st place: Scarlett Rodrigues, Dominican College, Taylor’s Hill
2nd place: Cian McCabe, Collinstown Park Community College, Clondalkin
3rd place: Gemma Good, Carrigallen Vocational School, Co. Leitrim
Opinion: 1st place: Alisha Shanagher, Our Lady’s School, Terenure
2nd place: William Godfrey, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
3rd place: Grace Kehoe, FCJ Secondary School, Bunclody
News: 1st place: James Ó Dubhanin, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean
2nd place: Conn Ó Riagáin, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean
3rd place: Caoimhe McTigue, Jesus and Mary College, Goatstown, Dublin
Sport: 1st place: Rory Cassidy, Bridgetown College, Wexford
2nd place: Eoin O’ Doherty, Moville Community College, Co. Donegal
3rd place: Kate McGann, Glenamaddy Community School, Co. Galway
Photojournalism: 1st place: Veronica Hanrahan, Coláiste Mhuire, Ennis
2nd place: Keelin Molloy Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
3rd place: Kisandra O’Shea, Pobailscoil Na Tríonóide, Youghal