On 27 November, The Guardian held their 36th annual Student Media Awards, where a former Sussex graduate came runner-up in the reputable Student Reporter of the Year category.
Gabriel Webber, a former Comment Editor for The Badger, was given the award at The Guardian headquarters in London, at a ceremony hosted by T4 alumni Rick Edwards. Gabriel closely followed Patrick Greenfield of the University of York, who was announced as the winner.
The event was judged by leading industry figures such as The Guardian News and Media editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, Financial Times Deputy Editor John Thornhill and Buzzfeed UK Managing Editor Cate Sevilla. Gabriel was recognised ahead of 700 other aspirants to receive the runner-up prize.
Other winners included the University of York’s student newspaper York Vision for Student Publication of the Year, the University of Nottingham’s The Impact for Student Website of the Year, and Lucy Webster of University of Warwick, who won Student Columnist of the Year.
When asked about his prize, Gabriel told The Badger: “I’m very proud to have won but – I guess as with any journalism award – I feel that others unintentionally helped me along the way by giving me something interesting to write about. In my case, that would be Michael Farthing and his decision to have security guards wear secret lapel cameras.”
Gabriel went on to say, “Apparently the judges were particularly impressed by my inspection of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, specifically the university’s contracts with Chartwells and Interserve.”
Gabriel also spoke to The Badger on the use of Freedom of Information (FOI) in journalism, “The Guardian is a particular fan of FOI and it’s such a great tool that I think student journalists should make much more creative use of.”
Gabriel’s reward for his accomplishment is a week’s work experience in The Guardian’s newsroom.