Gair Rhydd has received two national awards after winning at the Student Publication Association (SPA) annual conference.
Editor Joe Atkinson won the award for Best Sports Coverage as part of the sport editors team from the last academic year. This follows Gair Rhydd’s coverage of Varsity 2015, which included a live blog, Twitter updates and a special pull out sports section in the newspaper.
Talking about both his own award and the work of Politics Editor Carwyn Williams, Atkinson said: “We worked really hard on the Varsity coverage and Carwyn’s win is reflective of the hard work he puts in. To win two national awards represents all of the hard graft and hours that goes in and I hope that we can replicate it in our Varsity edition this week.”
Meanwhile Politics Editor and Deputy Editor Carwyn Williams won the Best Interview award for his interview with First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones.
Speaking of his award Williams said: “I’m so pleased to have won an SPA award, it’s been a fantastic year at Cardiff student media and it’s great to be recognised for the hard work that’s put in. I only hope students are now hearing my message and get out to vote on May 5th”.
Overall, Gair Rhydd was nominated for seven awards including best publication and design. Representatives from Quench magazine also attended the event and received five nominations.
The award ceremony took place in the middle of a two-day conference hosted by Loughborough University. During each day representatives from student publications across the UK received talks from industry professionals including journalists from Sky News and the Financial Times.
Speaking to Gair Rhydd, SPA chair Jem Collins congratulated the paper and said: “Gair Rhydd should be particularly proud of themselves – the awards this year were so competitive and the whole team have done a fantastic job this year to come away with not one, but two wins.”
Collins also praised the SPA conference and its delegates: “Both myself and the whole of the SPA team were completely overwhelmed and delighted by SPANC16. It was by far the biggest and best we have ever had and we had some amazing speakers and some great discussions from delegates.
“I’m always totally taken aback by the friendliness and collaborative attitude of delegates too and this year was no exception.”
Overall, University of East Anglia’s student newspaper Concrete won the largest number of awards, taking home five titles including Best Publication.
Judged by the Press Association training, they described the standard for Best Publication as “high” with “several titles in the running.”