A former journalism graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been named Radio Journalist of the Year at a top awards ceremony.
Ella Griffith, 22, was crowned the best at the O2 Media Awards for Yorkshire and The Humber – the largest single regional awards ceremony, held to recognise contributions made to journalism over the past year.
Since graduating from DMU, Ella’s job as roving reporter for Global Radio, reporting for Capital FM and Heart FM in Yorkshire, has taken her from fun features to serious documentaries, working across a range of stories often to tight deadlines.
But it was still a surprise for Ella to hear her name called out as the winner of the hotly-contested Radio Journalist of the Year, one of the biggest awards on the night.
What made it even better was that presenting her with the award was a little boy with a life-limiting illness whom Ella had interviewed and formed a bond.
She said: “I had not thought about winning that much at all, because I was the youngest in that category so I was just pleased to be nominated. Then when they said my name I was so, so shocked.
“The award was given to me by a family I had interviewed whose three year old boy had a life limiting illness so it was very emotional.”
Ella is passionate about her job and the ability of radio to tell stories. She said: “I love people and I love the way that you can build up a relationship with someone that means they will open up to you about issues.
“They can tell their stories how they want to tell it. You don’t have to translate it for them in any particular way, which can happen in print. It’s creative: I get to go out and do all sorts of bonkers stuff. I love speaking to real people about their real stories.”
One of the pieces Ella is most proud of was a documentary feature on the 10th anniversary of the July 7 bombings in London. She spoke to community leaders about the process of radicalisation and work being done now to prevent it happening. She said: “A lot of people who I spoke to had never really been interviewed before and it took a lot of work, but I’m very proud of the result.”
Even before Ella had left DMU she had been freelancing for Capital, something she continued to do after graduation. She became an official member of staff in August.
During her time at university, Ella was a leading member of DMU’s student radio station Demon FM which allowed her to hone her skills. She believes it put her in good stead for her current career.
“Demon FM was incredibly important for me. Being able to say ‘I was part of that’ and helped to make it happen and make it a success has set me up for what I do now.”
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2015