CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 3rd November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- SonyBMG to stop using controversial anti-piracy software
- So Solid chap in court over assault
- Motorhead joins Welsh Tory to just say no
- Borrell meets up with Glenda
- 50 Cent not with West on Katrina response
- Depeche Mode cancel opening gig
- MTV Europe awards update
- Roadrunner 25th anniversary supergroup finale
- Beastie Boys film submitted to Sundance
- Morrissey album still forthcoming
- Cream concerts made huge amount of money
- Ja Rule compilation album forthcoming
- Napster make Instant Live available to download
- Label execs concerned by iMesh filtering
- Westlife on course for album number one
- Gorillaz include all-star line up in live show
- Public Enemy tour
- Darkness back on tour, finally
- Mew live dates
- ITV4 launch night a success
- Lords say ITV and BBC should collaborate
- Cardiff top Guardian's Student Media Awards
- Kate Moss to move to Cotswolds shocker
- Girls Aloud criticize X-Factor
- Guardian Student Media Awards - winners in full

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SONYBMG TO STOP USING CONTROVERSIAL ANTI-PIRACY SOFTWARE
Now, I'm no expert in these things, but I'm pretty sure that it's not particularly good customer relationship management to fuck with your customers' computers. Which is presumably the reason why SonyBMG have vowed to stop using a bit of anti-piracy technology that made music fans' computers more vulnerable to viruses. Though the question has to be - why were they using it in the first place?

The news is that SonyBMG are reportedly making changes to some of their piracy-protection software after a number of programmers pointed out the technology they were using was leaving music fans' computers more vulnerable to hacker attacks. The software was used on a number of US album releases as part of the major's partnership with software first First4Internet.

Last week, however, software programmer Mark Russinovich wrote an article revealing that the anti-piracy technology used on the CDs was based on techniques used in many computer viruses, and that once on a music fan's computer it would leave the PC more susceptible to attacks by real viruses. What's more, like a real virus, the SonyBMG software was almost impossible to delete off a computer once installed - the user would have to contact Sony in order to obtain the software to uninstall the anti-piracy software. Russinovich wrote: "The entire experience was frustrating and irritating. Not only had Sony put software on my system that uses techniques commonly used by malware to mask its presence, the software is poorly written and provides no means for uninstall". With complaints growing in IT circles about the software, SonyBMG has said it will stop using the anti-piracy tool, and will be providing a patch that will enable anti-virus software to uninstall it.

Fortunately for the record labels this, and other questionable anti-piracy technologies, have only really been criticised heavily in the IT community, although a number of consumer rights groups have raised questions about some of the techniques major labels employ. However, if music fans find themselves installing potentially damaging software onto their PCs just by playing a CD, then the music industry could be facing a whole new PR nightmare.

And all for what? All anti-piracy software is hackable almost as soon as it is released, and every single album you'd care to mention soon finds it way onto Kazaa and the likes anyway. How about we all stop wasting money on daft technology that pisses customers off, and spend it developing compelling content propositions that people will pay a premium for? Oops, the soap box is out again.

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SO SOLID CHAP IN COURT OVER ASSAULT
Another member of the So Solid Crew is in trouble, and this time it's Romeo, real name Marvin Dawkins, who has appeared in court this week on charges of assault. Dawkins is accused, along with friend Thomas Engola, of attacking a fellow clubber, Ejay Armstrong, after leaving the Cirque in Leicester Square in Aug 2004. Both deny wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

The prosecution, Sarah Forshaw, said the pair "attacked Mr Armstrong in a most vicious way" and described how some of Romeo's group of friends got in to an argument with Armstrong, whose car had been blocked in by a car belonging to one of Romeo's aforesaid friends. In the ensuing tension it's alleged that Dawkins and Engola set upon Armstrong and slashed him with a knife, cutting across his jawline and chin. Romeo's car was stopped shortly after the incident and the rapper himself was found to be covered in Armstrong's blood, and a search of the vehicle revealed a bloodied flick knife.

It's the second time this has come to court; the case fell apart back in June when a jury failed to reach a verdict, the defence then claiming that it was a case of self-defence, because one of Armstrong's group was in possession of a pair of scissors, which he attempted to use during the course of the fracas.

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MOTORHEAD JOINS WELSH TORY TO JUST SAY NO
Now, here's an interesting one. Lemmy - yes, he of Motorhead - will today team up with an unlikely partner, a Tory member of Wales' National Assembly, to deliver an anti-drugs message. Lemmy is in Cardiff today to play a Motorhead gig this evening, but this afternoon he will share a stage with Welsh politician William Graham as part of an anti-drugs campaign.

Graham says he asked the Motorhead man to take part in the anti-drugs project after watching him discuss his loathing for heroin on a Channel 4 documentary. Given his life story, the politician decided the rock star would make a much more credible spokesman for the anti-drugs movement than any politician, and he might possibly be right.

Graham told reporters: "Frankly, young people are more likely to listen to him. Lemmy is taking it incredibly seriously, and his manager says he is writing a speech. It is a powerful message, delivered with all the understanding gained from the unique lifestyle Lemmy has pursued. It is a view of life that deserves wider consideration".

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BORRELL MEETS UP WITH GLENDA
More pop-star-and-politicians news. Pete Doherty's favourite poisonous snake Johnny Borrell met up with Glenda Jackson to talk about the Make Poverty History campaign, when he joined the mass lobby of parliament calling for trade justice in London yesterday. And that's it, really. We're not sure what the Razorlight frontman said to the Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Highgate, though I can't help thinking he was preaching to the (somewhat powerless) converted.

Anyway, not to worry, because Glen Tarman from the Trade Justice Movement had something to say. Oh yes: "We urge the UK Government to respect poor countries' right to choose their own trade policies. We demand they stop pushing poor countries to open their economies through policies in the World Trade Organisation that are biased towards rich countries and their corporations. We cannot make poverty history while these policies remain."

He's right, you know. But the words 'dream on' still sadly spring to mind.

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50 CENT NOT WITH WEST ON KATRINA RESPONSE
More pop politics, and 50 Cent has said he doesn't agree with fellow hip hop star Kanye West's assessment of the way the US authorities dealt with Hurricane Katrina. As you'll remember, shortly after the disaster West basically accused the Bush government of reacting slowly to the Hurricane because it was mainly black people who were affected. He concluded: "George Bush doesn't care about black people".

But Fiddy aint convinced. He said he thinks the American people reacted in the best way they could under the circumstances. According to WENN, he said: "The New Orleans disaster was meant to happen. It was an act of God. I think people responded to it the best way they can. What Kanye West was saying, I don't know where that came from".

Assuming Fiddy is right, I'm not sure that completely exonerates the President. Given that Bush is apparently always chatting to God about world issues, you'd think he'd have had plenty of advance warning.

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DEPECHE MODE CANCEL OPENING GIG
And speaking of hurricanes, Depeche Mode have been forced to cancel the first night of their 'Playing The Angel' tour because of problems caused by last week's weather conditions. The band had to pull out of the opening show of the US leg of the tour in Fort Lauderdale because of power outages and curfews imposed following Hurricane Wilma, which struck the south west coast of Florida on 24 Oct. Wilma left millions of people without electricity, and the area is still affected by the downed power lines, fallen trees and other debris.

The band's manager, Jonathan Kessler, said: "Depeche Mode were excited to launch the tour in south Florida. However, they're not willing to jeopardise the safety of their fans, who would be putting themselves at risk travelling to and from the event under dangerous conditions."

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MTV EUROPE AWARDS UPDATE
Well, it's not really an update. We're just pointing out that the MTV Europe Music Awards take place in Lisbon in a few hours, hosted by Sacha Baron Cohen (as Borat Sagdiyev) and featuring live performances from, amongst others, Madonna, giving the first live performance of her new single 'Hung Up' (anyone seen the video? Far too much gyrating for my liking), Gorillaz (technically groundbreaking holographic performance, remember), Robbie Williams and Green Day.

As previously reported, it is likely to be a good night for EMI because lovely Gorillaz and the lovely, lovely, lovely Coldplay (both signed to EMI of course) are up for the most awards at the ceremony, each with five nods, three in the same category, including Best Group and Best Song, meaning it's going to be a bit of a head to head. I hope Gorillaz do better than Coldplay. But I fear the worst. Other artists up for lots of prizes are Gwen Stefani with four, and U2, Green Day and 50 Cent with three each. This year's ceremony also includes that oddly contradictory award (given that this is the Europe Music Awards) for Best African Act, with 2 Face, Kaysha, Kleptomaniax, 02 and Zamajobe all up for the gong.

Incidentally, the Irish Independent reported yesterday that stars will get a goodie bag just for turning up to present, etc, worth 10,000 euros. Why do rich people get free stuff, when they can afford to buy it? Why? When poor people must pay...?

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ROADRUNNER 25th ANNIVERSARY SUPERGROUP FINALE
Wow, that's quite a headline. Roadrunner Records year long 25th anniversary celebrations finish on 15 Dec with a 'once in a lifetime' gig at the new Nokia Theatre in New York's Times Square. The show will feature a Roadrunner United 'house band' comprising Joey Jordison of Slipknot on drums, Andreas Kisser of Sepultura on lead guitar, Dino Cazares formerly of Fear Factory and Brujeria on rhythm guitar, and Adam Duce of Machine Head on bass. The event will also see other special guests taking to the stage, including a variety of past and present Roadrunner artists.

Tickets for the concert go on sale on 12 Nov.

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BEASTIE BOYS FILM SUBMITTED TO SUNDANCE
A documentary film of a Beastie Boys concert in Madison Square Garden in 2004 shot mainly by 50 fans on hand held Hi8 cameras has been submitted to Sundance, with the hope that it can raise its profile on the film festival circuit before a spring release.

The film, entitled 'Awesome: I Fuckin' Shot That,' was directed by Beastie Adam 'MCA' Yauch under his pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower, and produced by Oscilloscope films. "Pre-production was like three days," said Yauch, who was apparently inspired in his low-res video/high-quality audio vision by fans who posted video clips from their mobile phones on Beastie message boards.

Yauch said that none of the 50 cameras went missing in the filming process, adding "but granted, we took their driver's licenses."

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MORRISSEY ALBUM STILL FORTHCOMING
More on that previously reported and still forthcoming Morrissey album. We are now in possession of the ever so slightly vague news that the new Tony Visconti-produced long player, currently entitled 'Ringleader of the Tormentors', is to see a release in mid March, with a single release expected during the second week in February (on the Monday presumably) - no specific dates as yet.

Visconti recently said on his website: "Not only is this a departure in his writing (my opinion) but he has extended his vocal range and has written extended melodies. I am two-thirds of the way through one of the best albums I've ever worked on, with not only Morrissey at his best, but the plot has twists and turns which somehow involve film composer Ennio Morricone and an Italian children's choir."

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CREAM CONCERTS MADE HUGE AMOUNT OF MONEY
Those previously reported Cream reunion concerts in New York made more than £6million, according to the organizers. More than 56,000 people attended the three concerts at New York's Madison Square Garden. As we reported on Monday, the band have no plans to reunite again at any point in the future.

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JA RULE COMPILATION ALBUM FORTHCOMING
A Ja Rule compilation album is to be released in mid-Dec via Inc/Def Jam. The album, entitled 'Exodus', will include three brand new tracks, and is expected to also feature such hits as 'Holla, Holla,' 'It's Murda' and 'Clap Back.' The album also includes the rapper's most recent musical success, 'Wonderful', featurin R.Kelly and Ashanti.

Ja Rule had been recently concentrating on a movie career, appearing in ten films in the last few years, most recently 'Assault on Precinct 13,' but is said to now be taking a break from acting.

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NAPSTER MAKE INSTANT LIVE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD
The US division of Napster has entered a partnership with Clear Channel Entertainment which will see the download platform making available live recordings from CCE's Instant Live programme.

Instant Live makes live recordings of gigs available on the same night as the event itself, often within minutes of the band leaving the stage. Those recordings are sold at the venue on CD, but as part of the Naspter deal selected recordings would also be available to stream or download online.

Napster subscribers will be able to stream the live recordings within their existing package, while individual tracks from each show will be available to download for 99 cents each. As part of the deal Napster will also get branding on the Instant Live website and at participating live shows.

Confirming the deal, Instant Live General Manager Steve Pendergast, told reporters: "This partnership represents another leap forward for Instant Live, which is now embraced as a viable business and is helping to drive greater adoption by making recordings even easier and more widely available to fans."

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LABEL EXECS CONCERNED BY IMESH FILTERING
Some label execs are reportedly unhappy with the results of the beta trials of iMesh. As previously reported, iMesh is one of several new P2Ps in the process of launching which will charge a subscription fee to users, passing the profits on to the record labels whose music is shared. Various different kinds of technology are being used to filter what kinds of tracks can and can't be shared via the networks, while other technologies will monitor which tracks are shared so that royalties can be paid.

The problems iMesh seem to be in the filtering. Apparently the technology is meant to stop users sharing unprotected MP3 files of copyrighted music, but on some tests MP3s of tracks from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Metallica and Sean Paul got through the filtering system - often remixes or alternative version of tracks aren't picked up. Digital Music News, who have done their own testing, point out that many MP3s are blocked by the system, and that finding the tracks that are not blocked involves a lot of trial and error - which the average customer probably wouldn't be bothered to go through. Nevertheless, industry insiders say the labels will be getting more ruthless with their testing of the legit P2P platforms, and any weaknesses in the filtering technology might put back the official launch of the legit file sharing services.

Of course, you could argue that the existence of the filtering systems at all is actually the problem. Not only are music fans being asked to pay to use a service they have so far had for free (albeit illegally), they are being asked to pay to use a service which is in danger of being a very limited version of what file sharers are used to. All of which could mean the legit P2P sector could very quickly be a victim of death by DRM.

I know, how about we all stop wasting money on daft technology that pisses customers off, and spend it developing compelling content propositions that people will pay a premium for? Now, there's an idea.

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WESTLIFE ON COURSE FOR ALBUM NUMBER ONE
Bloody Westlife are more than likely going to get to number one in the album chart this week, knocking Robbie Williams from the top slot. The boybland sold 65,000 copies when their album went on sale this week, whereas Robbie only managed to sell another 40,000 copies of 'Intensive Care' following sales of 300,000 in its first week on release. As my fellow editor is so fond of saying, "that's the Asda shoppers for you". Or something like that.

According to The Sun, Kian Westlife said smugly: "We are absolutely thrilled because this success is genuinely unexpected. We'd have been delighted if we had just made the top five."

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GORILLAZ INCLUDE ALL-STAR LINE UP IN LIVE SHOW
So, the 'for one week only' live performance of Gorillaz' album 'Demon Days' is now in full swing. From what we've heard it's an all-star affair, with Neneh Cherry, De La Soul, Ike Turner, Roots Manuva, Martina Topley Bird and Shaun Ryder among those who appeared on stage during the first performance on Tuesday night.

The main band members remained silhouetted for most of the show with the guests' live performances mixed in with 3D animation. Meanwhile life size puppets of Gorillaz members 2-D and Murdoch sat in one of the Royal Boxes - Statler-and-Waldorf-esque, at one point showering the audience with popcorn. The show runs at Manchester's Opera House until Saturday night. We really wish we were going.

And hang on a minute. Aren't Gorillaz doing a technically groundbreaking performance at the MTV Music Europe Awards in Lisbon tonight? Since when have a cartoon characters been able to be in two places at once? I demand an explanation.

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PUBLIC ENEMY TOUR
Hurrah! Public Enemy have announced a series of UK tour dates for next year. Hope I get to go. The group are apparently also to play a one off at London's Forum on 16 Nov. Anyway, here are next year's dates:

31 Mar: Leeds University
1 Apr: Norwich University
2 Apr: London Astoria
3 Apr: London Astoria
6 Apr: Nottingham Rock City
7 Apr: Brighton Event 2
8 Apr: Bristol Academy
9 Apr: Northumbria University
11 Apr: Belfast Mandela Hall
13 Apr: Aberdeen Music Hall

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DARKNESS BACK ON TOUR, FINALLY
The Darkness are to get back on tour early next year to play their first live dates since winter 2004. Justin Hawkins says: "We are all really looking forward to getting back out there and playing live to our fans. It will be great to air the new album and new bass player, Richie Edwards, as well as some of our older classics."

Here are the dates:

4 Feb: Dublin The Point
5 Feb: Belfast Odyssey Arena
7 & 8 Feb: London Alexandra Place
11 Feb: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
12 Feb: Glasgow SECC
13 Feb: Newcastle Metro Radio News Arena
18 Feb: Manchester MEN Arena
19 Feb: Birmingham NEC
20 Feb: Nottingham Arena
21 Feb: Brighton Centre

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MEW LIVE DATES
Well, they are Elbow dates too. But we especially like Mew here at CMU. So here, for your delectation, are some dates at which Mew will be supporting Elbow. Who are also lovely.

13 Nov: Portsmouth Pyramid
14 Nov: Bristol Academy
15 Nov: Birmingham Academy
17 Nov: Glasgow Academy
18 Nov: Edinburgh Queens Hall
20 Nov: Newcastle Uni
23 Nov: Manchester Apollo
25 Nov: London Brixton Academy

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ITV4 LAUNCH NIGHT A SUCCESS
ITV are claiming that the launch night of ITV4 on Tuesday was the most successful ever scored by a digital station - which might say more about how few people watch the average digital TV channel than anything else, but it's an achievement nonetheless. The new ITV venture averaged 447,000 viewers and a 3.3% share during its first night, which compared well to the launches of ITV3 (408,000), E4 (296,000) and More4 (269,000). Then again, much of the launch night audience was gained by showing a football match, so perhaps not that big an achievement after all.

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LORDS SAY ITV AND BBC SHOULD COLLABORATE
A Lords parliamentary committee has said the BBC and ITV should work together to set up a broadcasting hub in Manchester. As you'll remember, the Beeb are planning on building a big new facility in Manchester in a bid to stop its operations from being so London-centric. However, the Corporation says it needs an increase in the licence fee to fund the building of such a facility.

But Lord Fowler, who is chairing that Lords committee on the future of the BBC, says he doesn't think a licence increase is justified for that enterprise - rather the Beeb should make economies by working with ITV. He writes: "The BBC and its commercial competitors should not be obsessed with competing with each other and instead should work together to maximise public value. The new Manchester hub would facilitate this. We recommend that the BBC, ITV and independent production companies should work together to create shared centres of regional excellence."

ITV boss Charles Allen says that he and the Beeb have been discussing such a joint venture, but added that nothing has been agreed as yet.

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CARDIFF TOP GUARDIAN'S STUDENT MEDIA AWARDS
We're into the college media awards season, and the first took place last night. The Guardian announced the winners of their annual Student Media Awards at an event in London last night, and well done to the University Of Cardiff, who took three of the biggest prizes of the night. They won Newspaper Of The Year for their newspaper Gair Rhydd and Magazine Of The Year for their magazine Quench, while Quench editor James Anthony won the Student Journalist Of The Year gong. So, well done them. A full list of the winners are at the bottom of today's Daily.

Now that were in to awards season, look out for the NUS Student Journalism Awards on 12 Nov (http://www.nusonline.co.uk/studentmedia), and the Student Radio Awards on 24 Nov (http://www.studentradio.org.uk/awards/2005). One year they are going to merge all these things and make life much easier.

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KATE MOSS TO MOVE TO COTSWOLDS SHOCKER
And why is this music news, you ask? Why, because it involves the lead singer of Babyshambles, of course. The latest rumours about Ms Kate Moss are that the fresh-from-rehab supermodel is to move out of London to avoid the temptation of drugs and Pete Doherty.

The Sun, which calls Doherty her 'ex', despite recent reports of Doherty's protestations that they are in fact still together (Are they? Aren't they? Are they? Aren't they?) suggests that Moss will rent out her London home and move to the Cotswolds. They also report that she has hired two SAS minders to keep Doherty and pals away from her. Which seems a bit extreme/unbelievable - not least because Pete and his friends all look a bit weedy, frankly.

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GIRLS ALOUD CRITICIZE X-FACTOR
One from the file marked pots calling kettles black. Girls Aloud have criticised the X Factor, according to OK! Magazine, saying that there's no talent there.

Nicola (she might be the red haired one, I think) said: "I don't think the talent is that good this time round. Seriously, if that's what Britain has got then we're dying on our arses! I mean, look at Chico - what is that? That's what you get when you try and make good TV rather than a talent show."

Er, yes. That's the point, is it not? Good TV? And do I even have to bother pointing out that talented people make it in the music business all the time without ever appearing on a TV talent show? Yeah, I know. It's a shocker.

Anyway, Nadine added: "I can't watch it. The judges are just so harsh. I told Louis Walsh that he should give them constructive criticism and not just destroy them."

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GUARDIAN STUDENT MEDIA AWARDS - WINNERS IN FULL

Student Journalist Of The Year
James Anthony, Quench, Cardiff University

Student Newspaper Of The Year
Winner: Gair Rhydd, Cardiff University
Runner-Up: Nouse, University Of York

Student Magazine Of The Year
Winner: Quench, Cardiff University
Runner-Up: Impact University Of Nottingham

Student Small Budget Publication Of The Year
Winner: Lippy , University Of Leeds
Runner-Up: Smiths , Goldsmiths College, London

Student Reporter Of The Year
Winner: Roger Waite, Oxford Student, University Of Oxford
Runner-Up: Jessica Salter , Leeds Student, University Of Leeds

Student Feature Writer Of The Year
Winner: Steve Dineen , Glasgow University Guardian, University Of Glasgow
Runner-Up: Zoe Corbyn , Felix, Imperial College London

Student Columnist Of The Year
Winner: Jonathan Bray York Vision, University Of York
Joint Runners-Up: Daniel Calder , Student Direct, University Of Manchester Peter Cardwell, Oxford Student, University Of Oxford

Student Website Of The Year
Winner: pulsefm.co.uk , London School Of Economics
Runner-Up: warwickboar.co.uk , University Of Warwick

Student Critic Of The Year
Winner: Laura Battle, The Student, University Of Edinburgh
Runner-Up: Matt Green, The Badger, University Of Sussex

Student Publication Design Of The Year
Winner: Smiths , Goldsmiths College, London
Runner-Up: Less Common , University Of The Arts, London

Student Diversity Writer Of The Year
Winner: Sam Richardson , Varsity, University Of Cambridge
Runner-Up: Pooja Menon , Platform, Nottingham Trent University

Student Travel Writer Of The Year In Association With Easyjet
Winner: Robert Castell , Concrete, University Of East Anglia
Runner-Up: Silje Boyum , Degrees North Magazine, University Of Sunderland

Student Photographer Of The Year
Winner: Sheila Barry , Glasgow School Of Art
Runner-Up: Lisa Barnard , University Of Brighton

Student Sports Writer Of The Year
Winner: Simon Osborn , York Vision, University Of York
Runner-Up: John Donaldson , Glasgow University Magazine, University Of Glasgow

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