Applications for the 2021 SMEDIAs are now open

2021 Student Media Awards logo

Here's what you need to know to apply for the 2021 Student Media Awards.

The National Student Media Awards are celebrating their 21st year, and applications are now open. But what are the SMEDIAs, who are the judges, how do you apply and what are the categories? We have all of the details below in one place so you don’t have to keep guessing.

The National Student Media Awards, or more commonly known as the SMEDIAs, are essentially the student equivalent of the Oscars. Open to students across every college campus in Ireland, the SMEDIAs aim to be the central platform that showcases the best in student film, TV, photography, journalism, radio and design.

The SMEDIAs partner with some of the top media publications in the country, including RTE, The Irish Times, the Irish Independent and TG4 to name a few. They also host a lineup of incredible judges every year. In 2020, some of the judges included Academy Award Nominees Lenny Abramson and Darragh O’Connell, Editor and Chief of STELLAR Magazine Vicki Notaro, and Executive Producer of The Late Late Show Cathy Fox.

There are two stages to the application process. First, you submit your entry (or entries) through the SMEDIA application form, and your submission is screened by the panel internally. You can submit up to eight different pieces of work to be considered for nomination. However, please note, there is a fee for each entry, so make sure you are 100% happy with your piece before entering. If your work passes this stage, you will receive your official nomination as a shortlisted entry for your chosen category, and your work will be reviewed by a panel of industry experts. On award show night, the winner of each category will be announced.

Usually, the award ceremony is held on location, but due to the pandemic, in 2020 the show was delivered virtually. For this year's show, the awards will once again be delivered online, with the ceremony taking place on Wednesday June 2nd over Zoom.    

The SMEDIAs always want to ensure that the categories are a true reflection of the wide variety of creative media Irish students can deliver, which is why they are known to build on the number of categories each year. This year, there is a new category, ‘Film Documentary of the Year,’ and we cannot wait to see some of the work from our Griffith students grace the category. To check out the full list of categories please click here.

Griffith College students have always produced incredible work for the awards, and they have ‘winner status’ to prove it. In 2020, News Photographer of the Year went to Kate Swift with her project, 'Lost Soles,’ a story of “loss, displacement and the livelihood of the local fishing community in Bulloch Harbour," while Photographer of the Year was awarded to Juliana Falange.

The deadline for applications is Thursday April 15th at 5pm, so if you are interested in applying, this is your friendly reminder.  

You can use your college assignments and/or student media content and you can enter work dating back from April 2020 to now.

We wish all of our Griffith College students the very best of luck in this year’s awards.

Learn more about Journalism and Media at Griffith College.