MA Journalism graduates named best in the country

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Two Salford Journalism alumni have been acclaimed as some of the best student journalists in the country.

Olivia Snelson and Isabella Jewell, who graduated in 2022 from the master's programme, have both picked up wins at the National Council for Trained Journalists (NCTJ) Awards for Excellence at a ceremony at London’s Twickenham Stadium.

The awards recognise the best student and trainee journalists in the country and the University of Salford picked up two wins in the three categories that it was nominated in.

Olivia picked up the award for Student News Journalism and her podcast ‘The Bloody Truth: Period Poverty’ was highly commended in the Best Student Project category whilst Isabella won in the Student Podcast category for her piece ‘Just Two Weeks’, which shone a light on the Homes for Ukraine scheme and has since been broadcast by German television and radio stations.

Speaking after her win, Olivia, who now works as an output producer for Sky News, said: “I was so proud and grateful to win the Student News Journalism award and it was wonderful to celebrate this achievement with my friends and colleagues from Sky who also attended the event.

“I am so grateful for my time as a master’s student at Salford. Without the incredible dedication of my teachers, I definitely would not be where I am today. I learnt so much during my time there and I would really recommend anyone wanting to get into the industry to study at Salford!”

Olivia submitted three stories to win the award which consisted of a radio package about an 18-year-old’s brave story of period poverty called ‘The Cost of Cramps Crisis’, a television feature following a team delivering aid to Ukraine refugees living in Poland (which debuted on BBC’s North West Tonight) called ‘Going The Distance’ and a radio feature on gender bias in the jazz industry. Her podcast ‘The Bloody Truth’, explored the reality of life for those who lack access to period products and the stories of those who are trying to tackle the issue.

On the podcast, she added: “Whilst I was conscious this was an ambitious topic to tackle as a student journalist, I just felt I had to report on this issue, hear from those affected and hopefully raise some awareness. I am so grateful to everyone involved and especially to the women and girls who shared their experiences with me and trusted me to tell their stories.”

Isabella, who has worked for Sky, Times Radio and Euro News said: “I was so surprised to win given the high calibre of journalists shortlisted, but I am very grateful for the feedback from the judges. The podcast, which was my master’s major project, told a story I am passionate about, given the problems many Ukrainians are facing in the UK.

“My lecturers Caroline Cheetham and Andrew Lindsay taught me so much about how to construct a compelling story and John Cranmer’s guidance on sound editing was invaluable.”

The feedback on the podcast from the judging panel acclaimed it as ‘a stark, gripping and original local angle on the Ukraine story which would not feel out of place on BBC Sounds.’

The university received the joint-second highest nominations of all universities nominated with three nominations, the same as the University of Kent, and Kingston University. 

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.