Three UL Journalism students have secured highly competitive Google News Labs Fellowships in top media organisations in Ireland. Three out of five places on offer in nationwide in Irish newsrooms went to UL students.
The students, who are studying BA and MA in Journalism and New Media programmes at the University of Limerick will complete eight-week placements at national media organisations, including The Irish Times, The Irish Independent and The Journal.ie. The UL students were chosen for the Google News Lab Fellowships from hundreds of applications from journalism students across Ireland. The Fellowships offer those excited about journalism, in particular data driven journalism, opportunities to research and write stories and create timely data to accurately frame debates about issues in Ireland and around the world.
The successful UL students are:
Jennifer Purcell, Rosbrien, Limerick, BA in Journalism and New Media with The Irish Times
Cillian Sherlock, Claremorris, Co Mayo, BA in Journalism and New Media with The Irish Independent
Andrew Roberts, Melbourne, Australia, MA in Journalism and New Media with The Journal.ie
Speaking about her award, Jennifer Purcell said "I feel tremendously honoured to be recognised for my work at this crucial stage of my education and heading into my career. I'm hugely looking forward to the opportunity to work at the Irish Times which this award has afforded me"
Andrew Roberts, from Melbourne in Australia said that the award was "unexpected - but I'm so thrilled to have been presented with this golden opportunity to gain such vital journalistic experience in Ireland, where I have family roots".
Cillian Sherlock from Claremorris has said that his award "has come at the perfect time - as I finish my degree in Journalism and New Media at UL, this fellowship gives me the perfect start to what I hope will be a long career in journalism"
Matt Cooke, Google News Lab lead for UK, Ireland & Nordics said:
"We've seen a huge response to this year's Google News Lab Fellowships, with over 1,000 student applications from across Europe. This was the first time we've offered Fellowships in Ireland specifically and hundreds of Irish students applied - all eager to gain real experience from a professional newsroom. Congratulations to those students from the University of Limerick who were selected and to the newsrooms taking part."
The UL students will complete their placements in summer 2017, between June and September. Students will receive a stipend of up to €6,000 as part of the placement.
UL Journalism subject leader Fergal Quinn said:
"We are thrilled to see our students win what were very highly sought after fellowships. These positions will provide excellent launchpads for three very talented young journalists as they seek to establish themselves in the industry."
"There are lots of exciting innovations happening right now in terms of the means by which journalism work can be done and we want to be at the forefront of these"
According to Kathryn Hayes, Journalism Lecturer in UL, the successful ‘fellows’ now have an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience in digital journalism, working in diverse news organisations. “Journalism in University of Limerick is expanding rapidly and seeking to increase and enhance our capacity in the area of digital journalism in particular in areas including social platform production; search and SEO; trust and verification, UCG curation; developing audiences and analytics. The succesful ‘fellows’ now have an excellent oportunity to further enhance these skills while working in leading news organisatons.”