A Goldsmiths MA student swept the board at the Magazine Academy Awards last night (October 27), winning two top prizes.
Amalia Illgner, who now works as a sub-editor for the Independent and writes for a range of publications such as Oil Review Middle East, the Independent and the Guardian, won both the individual categories. She was awarded the Bauer Media Outstanding Consumer Journalist 2016 and the BBC Worldwide Outstanding Non-Consumer Journalist 2016 prizes.
She told ELL: “It’s such an honour to represent Goldsmiths at the magazine academy awards and get such great feedback from judges who are some of the industry’s most influential figures.”
The Magazine Academy Awards, established two years ago to replace the Periodicals Training Council Awards, are a collaboration between various UK universities to showcase and celebrate new talents with some of the industries leading professionals as judges.
Talking about her prize-winning work, Illgner said: “The stories I entered in the awards put everything I learned into practice. The piece which won the ‘most outstanding consumer journalist’ award was an interview with the doctor in charge of the infamous Northwick Park medical trial, where his patients almost died. The doctor had never spoken publicly about his ordeal and I was very conscious that I had to take great care in telling his story. From day one, Terry Kirby, our news writing lecturer, taught me about the importance of details and how vital it is to get them right, first time, every time.
“Becky Gardiner, who led the feature writing module, gave me a really good sense of how to understand an audience, and how to spot stories that specific readers would find compelling. For the outstanding non-consumer journalist award, I submitted a story about the EU’s ban on chipotle chillies and the impact on the catering industry. Never in a million years would I have been able to spot, pitch and get that story commissioned without Becky’s insight and guidance.”
Illgner saw her final project magazine Seeds & The City also highly commended at the awards. She edited the magazine, in which the writers discover a previously unknown gardening scene in London.
Becky Gardiner, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, expressed her pride for her students’ achievements. She said: “I am so proud of Amalia. Winning both the consumer and non-consumer categories is a real achievement, and well-deserved. Her work was always brilliant – she has a nose for a good story, works hard, and writes beautifully. I am delighted that the judges recognised her talent.
“I’m also really pleased that Seeds & the City, the gardening magazine for people without gardens that Amalia edited was Highly Commended in the best magazine category. Amalia and her very talented MA Journalism team – Annie Gouk, Kyra Hanson and Douglas Pyper – were full of strong and original ideas, and they worked hard to create a very professional product. I’m very proud of them all.”