Sheffield students sweep the board at RTS awards

First, second and third place for our future broadcast journalists

The 2013 RTS award winners

Sheffield journalism students this week continued their remarkable track record of industry prizes with a stunning clean sweep at the Royal Television Society Student Awards.

In the Will Venters news category of the awards, students from the Department of Journalism Studies took every place on the podium, with first place going to Liana Lonsdale for Work Hard, Train Harder – a documentary about the bodybuilding community.

Amy Durrant was named runner-up, while Adam Hancock and Aimee Smith jointly claimed third place.

Liana said: "I wanted to make a film that surprised the audience by showing them something they might have never have seen or thought of before. Most people think of bodybuilding as a glamorous sport full of fake tan, tiny trunks and bright lights. But the reality can be distressing and the sport has huge health and emotional implications.

"The main character in my film opened up about his personal experiences and it was very moving. I think it was that that impressed the judges.

"It's got my name on it but the award actually marks the incredible hard work, support and teaching from my lecturers, particularly Katie [Stewart] and Matt [Robson], my family and the bodybuilding community who made me so welcome."


Different side

Amy's runner-up prize was awarded for her film Stories from the Cathedral Archer Project, which covers homelessness in Sheffield. She added: "To have my work recognised by the Royal Television Society is not only an incredible personal achievement but a real testament to the bravery of the storytellers in my documentary. I wanted to show a different side to homelessness that isn't often seen in the media and give the clients of the Cathedral Archer Project the chance to tell their stories.

"Through my time volunteering and filming there, I met the most incredible people and I'm over the moon to be able to share this award with them."

The winners were accompanied by their tutor Katie Stewart – who, along with colleague Marie Kinsey, supervised their projects – and Matt Robson, who teaches camera and editing.

Katie said: "I am incredibly proud of our students' achievements and the standard of their films this year was particularly high. Each of the winners faced a rollercoaster ride at times during the production of their pieces. They work individually throughout the process and at times it is a challenging task. I would like to thank the RTS for giving recognition to their talent and I feel sure they have promising careers ahead of them."


Sheffield hat-trick

The department's 2013 triumph makes it a hat-trick for Sheffield at the RTS awards. Last year Megan Colley took another first place, while Leanne Rinne did likewise in 2011.

Presented by the Royal Television Society, the awards highlight the work of the UK's best students in televisual media. The ceremony on 19 November was hosted by ITV Calendar journalist Victoria Whittam and staged in the prestigious Voltiger Suite at York Racecourse.