Palatinate was officially named the UK and Ireland’s best student newspaper last night as it won Best Publication at the Student Publication Association (SPA) awards.
Taking into account “the publication’s relevance to its student community, the quality of the content that it produces, and dedication to innovation”, Palatinate saw off competition from nine other nominees to win the award for the second time in three years, with the most recent previous win coming in 2018.
In a joint statement of thanks, Editors-in-Chief Tim Sigsworth and Toby Donegan-Cross said: “We are honoured to receive this award from the SPA, and gratified to see all the hard work and talent of our editors and contributors recognised in this way.”
Palatinate was the winner of two other awards, was Highly Commended for a further three and had 12 shortlistings in total. Each of these represent new records for the paper.
Current Editor-in-Chief Toby Donegan-Cross won Best Reporter as well as Best News Story (the latter shared with Poppy-Lulu Roberts and former News Editor Will Hutchings) for an investigation into allegations of bigotry at the Durham Union Society.
Former Editors-in-Chief Imogen Usherwood and Tash Mosheim were jointly Highly Commended for the Billy Dowling-Reid Award for Outstanding Commitment, an award which recognises “students who have shown outstanding commitment to their publications over the previous year, going above and beyond the call of duty”.
Having had funding for its print edition cut by the Durham SU in September 2020 when both Imogen and Tash were Editors-in-Chief, Palatinate was able to continue this 73-year tradition due to their tireless fundraising efforts.
Palatinate was also Highly Commended for two individual sections: Science and Technology and Sport.
“The past year has brought a variety of challenges to Palatinate, not least the withdrawal of print funding by our publisher,” Tim and Toby commented.
“In the face of them, every single one of our volunteers has striven to not just match what the paper has done previously, but to go beyond it.
“We’ve launched new sections, overhauled teams, built a new website, revamped our social media, fundraised our budget and started a new YouTube channel.
“None of this would have been possible without our readers and alumni, who have backed us to the hilt at every step along the way. Our gratitude to them knows no bounds.”