For me it was the Glasgow University Guardian and the endless opportunities it opened, including a work experience placement on a national newspaper I would, some 20-odd years later, go on to edit.

Student journalism was fundamental to my career, gave me a hunger and enjoyment that drives me to this day, and a grounding that led to my first proper job in the industry as a trainee reporter covering Dumfries and Galloway.

Earlier this year, we launched The Herald Student Press Awards, understanding the vital role journalism within higher and further education plays in our industry. The deadline for entries is just under a fortnight away, with the overall winner in with a chance of securing a four-week paid internship with us.

Read more:

The Herald launches Student Press Awards for journalists

We have a responsibility at The Herald to invest in the next generation of talent and this is one way we are showing our commitment. Without the opportunity to learn and grow, find our voices, push boundaries, experiment, campaign and make connections through student journalism, so many of my colleagues – including myself – would not be in the jobs we take so much enjoyment from today.

It is right, and we are delighted to be able, to recognise, reward and shout loudly about the most talented student journalists across Scotland. They are the next generation who will hold our decision makers to account, drive change and celebrate our country.

We are looking for entries across nine categories – including scoop and newsbrand of the year – and will host finalists in our Glasgow office in an evening awards ceremony next month; a chance to celebrate and network.

The Herald: The Herald has launched student journalism awards
Student journalism has always mattered, allowing budding writers, photographers and designers to hone their skills by taking on campus issues. Some, of course, make their mark on those of national significance. Their opportunity to do so, and the paths their careers and lives take, are built on the foundations of their student days.

I meet frequently with students at colleges and universities across Scotland and am always struck by the talent and drive so many have. It inspires me for what they can achieve, especially in an age where the need for quality, trusted journalism is of such importance.

I remember with great fondness the days I spent in the John McIntyre building at Glasgow University Guardian, first as a reporter and then a news editor. It opened my eyes to the brilliance and confidence of the team working tirelessly on the paper, many of whom went on to do outstanding work in the industry across the world. 

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Before going on to formal training, thanks to my student journalism, I secured work experience placements at the likes of the Big Issue and Scotland on Sunday. I could never have foreseen that one day I would become its editor or indeed make my way back to Glasgow as the first female at the helm of The Herald.  

Journalism is – in my eyes – the best job in the world. It is a privilege, of immense excitement and satisfaction, and allows real change to be made. Join me in recognising the student stars already making their mark.

For more details, and how to apply, click here.

Catherine Salmond