A student from Co Cork has been named the overall winner of the 2019 Press Pass awards.
John Flynn from Coláiste an Chraoibhin in Fermoy picked up the prize on Monday for an opinion piece on scouting.
More than 10,000 transition-year students took part in the annual NewsBrands Ireland Press Pass initiative, with 16 students recognised for their original journalism.
The programme was launched seven years ago and seeks to improve news literal and critical thinking skills among students.
The winners were selected by a panel of editors and journalists, chaired by Michael Foley, professor emeritus of journalism at Dublin Institute of Technology.
“While it was so very difficult to pick an overall winner, at the end there was near unanimity,” Mr Foley said.
“The winner showed an engagement with the subject, wrote with assurance and maturity and made a strong argument. The subject matter was something the writer knew about intimately and in terms of journalism it was topical and controversial.”
For the duration of the programme, participating schools receive newspapers, a specially created workbook and a teacher’s lesson plan. Students are encouraged to engage with the newspapers in the classroom, to analyse them and to create their own original journalism, the best of which was entered into the competition.
Trophies were awarded in five categories – features, opinion, news, sport and photojournalism.
NewsBrands Ireland chairman Vincent Crowley said participation in the programme is growing every year.
“Irish newspapers are the voice of the people, their communities and their regions,” Mr Crowley said.
“We rely on the journalists to tell us what is happening in the world – and why. And we rely on young people like our talented finalists gathered here today to continue the tradition of writing and reporting the news, uncovering truths and separating fact from fiction.”
NewsBrands Ireland Press Pass 2019 winners
John Flynn, Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy
1st: Jessica Moir, Moville Community College, Co Donegal
2nd: Maria Finnegan, Our Lady's School, Terenure
3rd: Leah Getkate, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean
1st: Sophie Rosenau, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal
2nd: Seamus Ó Loingsigh, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean
3rd: Weronika Piasecka, Scoil Dara, Kilcock
1st: Alice Larkin, Coláiste Muire, Ennis
2nd: Aisling Ní Chonchúir, Pobailscoil Chorca Dhuibhne , An Daingean
3rd: Shane Roche, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal, Blarney
1st: Chloe Coughlan, Jesus & Mary College, Goatstown
2nd: Matthew Hogan, Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal
3rd: Ellie Raftery, Mount Sackville, Chapelizod
1st: Rebecca Keane, Coláiste Muire, Ennis
2nd: Leah Phelan, Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Kilkenny
3rd: Radisha Fernando, St Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom