BU Journalism student wins top web award from industry body

Posted on Friday, October 19 2012

A Master’s student in Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University has won an industry award for creating the best website for the fifth year running.

Michelle Browne won the award for Website of the Year from the Broadcast Journalism Training Council (BTJC), an industry body which accredits the course.

It is the fifth year in a row that a student from the BU course has won the award – an unrivalled record.

Michelle, 24, who has just graduated with a distinction from the MA Multimedia Journalism course, created the website – called Ireland’s Missing Generation – as part of her university coursework.

The site is a journalistic investigation into the impact increased unemployment and emigration is having on communities across Ireland, and features videos and audio footage, alongside written articles and interactive graphs.

Michelle, who is originally from County Clare in Ireland, received her award from ITV news anchor Alistair Stewart, at a ceremony in Winchester on October 9.

She said: “I was delighted to win such a prestigious award. A lot of hard work went into creating the website, and it was really nice to have that acknowledged by the judges.

“It was an honour to meet Alastair Stewart and receive the award from him.”

The website took Michelle around three months to create, and judges for the BJTC awards described it as “an innovative idea that lets the subject breathe” and a “tremendous achievement” with “layer upon layer of research.”

Michelle said: “I wanted to fully represent the impact emigration has had on Ireland and its citizens, so I spent a month researching the topic thoroughly and identifying interviewees, and began to make contact with contributors and promote the project on Twitter and Facebook.”

Michelle spoke both to Irish emigrants living abroad and the communities they left behind, and interviewed politicians and economists about their views on the issues.

“I flew to Ireland for two weeks to carry out interviews and film footage,” she said. “Working to such a tight deadline was quite stressful.”

Michelle now lives in London and works as a social media manager for digital marketing agency RocketMill.

She said she learnt a lot while doing the MA Multimedia Journalism course at Bournemouth University.

“The course offered me the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skills – I wanted to be multi-skilled. “The course is also intensely practical and accredited by the BJTC, which really appealed to me.”

She added: “The website was the first pieces of work where I drew on all the skills I had learned, everything multimedia.

“It was a great way to end the course, and to showcase everything I had learned,”

Visit Michelle’s website