Graduate award remembers inspirational journalist

25th November 2014

An award dedicated to an influential local journalist and former Sheffield Hallam University lecturer has been set up to recognise outstanding female radio journalism students.

Jane Kitson, a former lecturer in broadcast journalism and a presenter on BBC Radio Sheffield, died in January this year from a suspected heart attack. In recognition of Jane's commitment to encouraging women into radio, academics from the University set up the award which was presented to Rachel Cummins for the best radio work by a female student at a post-graduation presentation. Rachel was given the highest mark for her final-year radio project which involved reporting, making packages, and putting together speech-based radio programmes.  Her award was presented by BBC Radio Sheffield's Kate Linderholm. Jane's parents, Margaret and Ronald Kitson, from Tinsley, were also at the ceremony. The Jane Kitson Award will now become an annual celebration to recognise the achievements of talented third-year students. "It is a massive honour to be given this award," said Rachel. "Jane was so well known across Sheffield and I've been so passionate about radio throughout the degree and I got to spend some time at Radio Sheffield. And to have Jane's family here has been really lovely." Jane's mum, Margaret, said: "We are so pleased that Jane is being recognised in this way. It's a sad day but Jane would've been so proud and I'm so glad people are remembering her because she was so special." Clare Jenkins, joint course leader for Journalism at Sheffield Hallam, said: "It's thanks to Jane's Access to Radio course over 20 years ago that I carved my own radio career which has seen me freelancing for Radio 4 and establishing my own independent radio production company, Pennine Productions. "Jane was a wonderful radio presenter and producer herself and a great believer in the democratic nature of radio."

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