Limerick Voice student newspaper looks at ‘stories of people behind the headlines’

Federica Montella, Frances Watkins and Rebecca Laffan of the Limerick Voice with Alan Owens and Eugene Phelan of the Limerick Leader Picture: Oisin McHugh/True Media

Federica Montella, Frances Watkins and Rebecca Laffan of the Limerick Voice with Alan Owens and Eugene Phelan of the Limerick Leader Picture: Oisin McHugh/True Media

THE Limerick Voice student newspaper has looked at the ‘ordinary people living extraordinary lives’ in its latest edition, according to its editor.

The eleventh edition of the paper, distributed with this weekend’s Limerick Leader newspaper, is produced by fourth year and MA students of Journalism at University of Limerick.

The paper features the courageous story of Vicky Phelan and her ongoing campaign after uncovering the CervicalCheck scandal and also reveals how 200 men have sought help from Rape Crisis Mid West in the past five years.

Limerick Voice Editor for 2018, Frances Watkins, said the students wanted the paper to “focus on people and their stories” and has done so on its pages and on its website, which has been live since September, covering daily breaking news and sports stories.

“Many readers will agree that 2018 has certainly been a historical year for Limerick,” she said.

“From our legendary All-Ireland hurling win to the tragic death of Dolores O’Riordan and the story of Vicky Phelan, who uncovered the biggest health scandal in the history of the state, Limerick has made headlines not only nationally, but internationally, too. This edition aims to bring you stories about the people behind these headlines,” Ms Watkins explained.

Other stories featured include an investigation into the number of reported sexual assaults in Irish third level institutions; the latest trolley figures at University Hospital Limerick and one man’s experience of living in Direct Provision accommodation.

Limerick’s historic success on the sporting field is celebrated in the sports page in a special interview with All Ireland winning brothers Tom and Dan Morrissey Junior All-Ireland Winning footballers and sisters Olivia and Martina Giltenane.

The Limerick Voice also celebrates the power of community spirit with four pages dedicated to stories about people and projects in Limerick’s regeneration areas.

Speaking at the launch of Limerick Voice, Professor Helen Kelly Holmes, Dean of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences said the paper – and its website – was “the capstone project for our Journalism students; it is the ‘icing on the cake’ of their educational and professional development, where they get the chance to bring all of their accumulated skills and learning together.

“I am constantly amazed at the quality that they produce, and this year is no exception. It is the very best kind of learning-by-doing and shows them that they can make it in the profession.”

UL Head of Journalism, Mary Dundon, said the production of Limerick Voice on a multi-media platform provided the students with important practical skills.

“The editors of local and national media have told us that they need graduates with good analytical skills who can write across a range of digital platforms - we are producing those graduates at UL,” she pointed out.

UL Course Director in Journalism and New Media, Kathryn Hayes, who oversaw the project, said the experience of working on Limerick Voice  provides vital real life experience for students entering the highly competitive journalism jobs market after graduation.

“Experiential learning is a key element of our journalism teaching in UL and working on Limerick Voice means our students now have experience of the skills required to run a news website and bring a newspaper from concept to print. We are particularly grateful to the Limerick Leader newspaper for their continued support of this project.”

The Limerick Voice is free with this weekend’s Limerick Leader, which is in shops now. It is also available online at www.limerickvoice.com.