Talented media and design pupils from Bromsgrove School are celebrating after scooping Best Magazine at the prestigious Shine School Media Awards, a national competition that rewards the talent of senior school pupils who work on the editorial and design of a school magazine, newspaper, podcast or website.
The team was ecstatic when they learned that their pupil magazine Two Zero One had received such high accolades this year - winning Best Magazine, Best Front Cover, Best Overall Content and receiving Highly Commended for Best Illustration and Artwork, Best Print and Design and Best Cartoon. Twelve pupils worked on the magazine, so it truly was a team effort. Congratulations to Vivianne Zhang Wei, who was awarded Editor of the Year.
Speaking about the Best Magazine Award, the judges felt that “this was a truly inspiring entry, given the circumstances of its production under lockdown. Interesting, wide-ranging and engaging content, voicing the concerns and topics of the moment, together with lifestyle and arts content, pulled together with attractive design and glorious illustrations. A fantastic read, well done."
“One of the enduring images of the Covid lockdown was the apartment buildings of Madrid and Milan, with neighbours leaning over tiny balconies chatting, bashing saucepans to pay tribute to healthcare workers, or singing and playing guitar to pass those strange evenings”, commented Richard Chapman, Shine Deputy Chair. “This wonderful cover image captures a series of six stories in a single illustration: every character comes to life on their balcony, bursting with a story to be told, together but alone. Two Zero One is the publication all our judges were instantly drawn to because of that almost haunting image and bold type – the hallmark of a great magazine cover.”
Commenting on the awards, editor Vivianne said: “Never would we have imagined that Two Zero One would end up winning four Shine Awards this year! It’s not even being humble or anything – just that the email had told us we were nominated for 'an award', so we expected, well, one nomination. Seven minutes into the online ceremony we had already won Best Magazine Cover so I, having gathered everyone on Zoom to watch it together, started feeling like it was a terrible idea if the next thirty minutes would have nothing to do with us… And then our name just kept coming up again and again and every time we would unmute ourselves to shout, Max’s arms would fly up, Liza’s hands cover her mouth, or Ms Adams shoot a victorious fist up in the air. It really felt like we were there together after all”.
Alison Strachan, Chair of Shine congratulated all of the schools shortlisted for a Shine School Media Award - “Prizes will be workshops, masterclasses and work experience with industry leaders, as it is vital that you, who are tomorrow’s talent, find paths into the communications industries and careers there, should you wish. It is our job to help you on the way”.
Headmaster Peter Clague said, “This is fantastic news - a wonderful postscript to the year and an absolutely fitting acknowledgement of a remarkable editorial team”.
Judge Charles Garside, from Associated Newspapers said, “Two Zero One really tackled the pandemic well, making it relevant to the school and the readers. An excellent, unique piece of art made a striking front page on the diversity and loneliness of lockdown… with the headline Alone Together giving an upbeat message. Really well signposted and themed, I liked the history on pandemics in Bromsgrove and particularly liked the take on the virtual classroom and distance teaching. Beyond Covid 19, there was still plenty of other interesting content”.
“What Vivianne and the team managed to create in lockdown is a fitting testament to their talent, teamwork and tenacity”, said Ms Victoria Adams, Teacher of English at Bromsgrove. “To practically sweep the board in these awards is so well deserved. Watching live together on Zoom was not quite the same as attending the ceremony at Stationers’ Hall in London but the camaraderie and friendship of these outstanding young people, led by winning editor Vivianne, was a joy to behold.”