Press Pass 2019 finalists announced

The shortlist has been announced for the NewsBrands Ireland annual Press Pass student journalism awards.

This year, over 10,000 Transition Year students participated in the Press Pass programme, which develops news 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.

The highly popular competition element of the programme drew hundreds of entries from across the country with students entering original pieces across five categories: News, Opinion, Features, Sport, and Photojournalism.

The entries were judged by a panel of journalists from NewsBrands Ireland’s members, who had the difficult task of whittling the entries down to a shortlist of 16. The shortlisted students along with their family, teachers, and friends will be invited to the awards ceremony in Wood Quay, Dublin on Monday, 8th of April, where prizes will be presented in 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

One student will be presented with the Overall Winner’s prize for excellence in student journalism.

In no particular order, the shortlisted students are:

• Radisha Fernando, St Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom, Co. Cork
• Alice Larkin, Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare
• Shane Roche, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney, Co. Cork
• Weronika Piasecka, Scoil Dara, Kilcock, Co. Kildare
• John Flynn, Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy, Co. Cork
• Jessica Moir, Moville Community College, Co. Donegal
• Seamus Ó Loinsigh, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean, Co. Kerry
• Leah Phelan, Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Kilkenny
• Sophie Rosenau, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, Co. Cork
• Maria Finnegan, Our Lady’s School, Terenure. Dublin 6W
• Rebecca Keane, Coláiste Muire, Ennis, Co. Clare
• Leah Getkate, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean, Co. Kerry
• Aisling Ní Chonchúir, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean, Co. Kerry
• Chloe Coughlan, Jesus & Mary College, Goatstown, Dublin 14
• Matthew Hogan, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, Co. Cork
• Ellie Raftery, Mount Sackville, Chapelizod, Dublin 20

Since the Press Pass programme launched six years ago, approximately 90,000 students have benefited from it. Participating schools receive free newspapers, a Teacher’s Lesson Plan, and a specially created workbook 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.

Along with encouraging the next generation of journalists through the Student Journalism Awards, the main goal of the Press Pass TY Programme is to help students make informed judgments about the news they read and share online. It is vital that young people are encouraged to develop their news literacy skills and Press Pass plays a positive role in this respect by providing schools with a free and very practical set of resources.

This year’s judging panel members were:

• Prof Michael Foley (Chair)
• Fiachra O’ Cionnaith, Irish Examiner
• Fiona Gartland, The Irish Times
• Lauren Kelly, The Irish Sun
• Kevin Doyle, Independent News & Media
• Ciara Leahy, Irish Country Living
• Catherine Fegan, Irish Daily Mail
• Daragh Keany, Sunday World
• Kevan Furbank, Irish Daily Mirror
• Gillian Nellis, The Sunday Business Post
• Dave O’ Connell, Connacht Tribune
• Conor Doyle, Irish Daily Star
• Crispin Rodwell, President, PPAI