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Flashback wins Student Media award -
best magazine or society publication
4 May 2004

magazine cover
Award winning issue
magazine cover
Current issue

Flashback, DCU's new student publication, won the `Best Magazine or Society Award' at theBank of Ireland National Student Media Awards ceremony, organised by the website `oxygen.ie'. According to Ken Griffin, Flashback's editor and designer, "Although DCU has monopolised the Best National Journalist Award in the contest for years, we have never won one of the two best publications awards before. But a best publication award involves teamwork and a strong effort from everyone and it involves a group of talented individuals working together to produce the best possible magazine. The award is so valuable as it is the only nationally recognised student media awards and the prize means that Flashback and the University Observer in UCD are the two best student publications in the country".

Flashback was launched in April 2003 as an independent semesterly review magazine for students at DCU. Although it was originally set up to be a current affairs magazine, it developed into a publication that would showcase the work of feature writers and would highlight the events, activities and achievements of the Clubs and Societies. The two existing publications, College View and An Tarbh, have a different focus. The aim was also to create a magazine that would be popular among students - and challenge TCD and UCD for awards!

The editorial team is made up of a team of third year BA in Journalism students:
Ken Griffin - editor/design
Shane Leavy - deputy editor
Arsheen Qasim - arts editor
Marguerite McGrath - sub editor
Diana Rusk - assistant sub editor

Ken Griffith gave this account of the setting up of the new ventre: "In early 2003, I was approached by a record company who wanted to produce a magazine for teenagers with DCU students running it. I recruited Marguerite and Arsheen for this project, which fell through, and agreed to do Flashback instead. Arsheen added the idea of a fashion and beauty section, which remains in the magazine today. Two of my other classmates, Eimear Ni Bhraonain and Tracey Walsh, joined the magazine to complete the team.

Our first issue was a problematic affair as there were a lot of technical problems that had to be resolved. We also lacked celebrity interviews and a lot of it involved analysing the celebrities or trends, rather than interviewing people about them. The first issue was published by the DCU Art Society.

By the time the second issue came out in December, things had changed a lot. Tracey and Eimear both left to focus on their College View responsibilities and were replaced by Shane Leavy and Diana Rusk. Arsheen managed to get a lot of good celebrity interviews while myself and Shane felt confident enough to become make Flashback serious at times. So we ran an interview with the Christian Brothers about clerical child sex abuse, which was a topic that no DCU publication had ever really approached before. We also redesigned the magazine and decided to beef up our clubs and societies section to take in more events and reviews than before.

There was a lot of uncertainty as to how it would all work, but it was extremely successful. In fact, we had problems meeting demand and we overtook The College View as the most popular student publication in DCU. Three months later, we had won DCU's first ever student media award for a publication at the first attempt thanks to that issue".

Other involvements of the Flashback team:

Ken Griffin
- contributor for the Drogheda Independent.
- co-author of "Northern Ireland: A Place Apart" (2000), an educational
resource pack published by Glencree Centre for Reconcilation
- design editor for both SUAS and College View (both 2002)
- well-known reporter on College Viewv - first-five society individual award (2004), society fresher of the year (2002)
- auditor of DCU Debating Society

Shane Leavy joined Flashback in November 2003.
- contributor to College View and Mozayk.

Arsheen Qasim
- a broadcast researcher for Today FM working on a number of their Sunday shows.
- Arts Editor of College View (2003/4)
- Deputy Editor of Mozayk (2003/4).

Marguerite McGrath
- editor of The College View (2003/4)
- worked on the Clare Champion on work experience.

Diana Rusk joined Flashback in November 2003.
- a part-time reporter on The Impartial Reporter in Fermanagh.
- presenter for Dublin City Anna Livia FM.
- co-wrote a local history book on Fermanagh.
- contributor to College View.