The University of Limerick’s programme in journalism wasn’t welcomed by the major Dublin colleges when it started in 2008. But just four year later, UL’s journalism programme has established itself as one of the best places in the country to train to be a reporter.
The unique model of education at UL, which incorporates rigorous academic learning with practical experience in the form of industry specific co-operative education programmes, is a thorough training in journalism. This applied model ensures that graduates are fully capable of working in industry when they leave college.
The latest publication from journalism students – The Limerick Voice – is available as a free supplement today with the Limerick Leader.
The beginning of journalism training in Limerick coincided with the Regeneration Agency’s efforts to rejuvenate areas of the city. A partnership between the agency and the university led to the publication of the first community newspaper – The Moyross Voice – in January 2009. The concept of the Voice was to tell the communities’ stories. Since the first edition, the Voice newspaper has been produced successfully for communities in Southill, St Mary’s Park, Ballinacurra Westin and the city.
This year, the journalism faculty took on its most ambitious project yet – to produce a newspaper for Co Limerick. The BA Journalism and New Media students have produced the 32-page tabloid Limerick Voice.
Good journalism doesn’t shy away from the controversial, and in that vein, we report that Limerick City and County Councils combined face a funding shortfall of almost €20m for 2012, through the non-payment of commercial rates and the Household Charge.
The paper also includes exclusive interviews with the head of the newly combined Limerick councils Conn Murray, and Broadford native Vincent Browne. We also reveal the true extent of Limerick’s property value slide and our extensive sports coverage features in-depth analysis of Munster’s must-win game this weekend.
Under the baton of course director Mary Dundon, MA in Journalism students have produced the Regeneration Voice with stories from the regeneration communities.
The Limerick Voice is also available online at limerickvoice.com with thorough multi-media reportage, including videos and breaking news stories.
The University of Limerick has been extremely lucky in that many regional papers, including the Limerick Leader, have worked with the journalism programme through our innovative co-operative education programme. This scheme gives students six months practical work experience and gives our graduates the x-factor when it comes to gaining employment.
UL recently announced the appointment of the former editor of The Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy, as adjunct professor of journalism. In October, the University opened its state of the art new broadcast training facility.
Today’s paper, and these developments ensure that UL continues to be at the cutting edge of journalism training in Ireland.
Tom Felle is Head of Journalism at the University of Limerick.