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April 15, 2024

Student television success for Richard Griffiths (2016-21)

Richard Griffiths (2016-21) has been given the Gold award for ‘News and Current Affairs’ by the National Student Television Association (NaSTA) at their annual ceremony.

Richard, currently a second year History undergraduate at Durham University, is Head of News for his student broadcaster, PalTV, which he initially joined as a producer and presenter in his first year. PalTV is entirely independent and completely student-run and was awarded the overall ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ award on Saturday – the third year in succession that they have won the coveted title.

Richard was also awarded the Bronze Award for ‘Best On-Screen Talent’ and the Bronze Award for ‘Documentary and Factual’ for a video on the Durham student housing crisis of which he was both presenter and lead producer. The video now has 44,000 views on YouTube (the highest in PalTV’s history) and documents how students have struggled to cope with rapidly increasing rent prices.

The NaSTA awards are the longest-running student TV awards in the UK and recognise all aspects of television production. The 2024 awards ceremony was held at the Imperial War Museum in Manchester and brought together more than 30 student TV stations from across the UK, all competing for the prestigious awards.

Richard attended both St Paul’s School and St Paul’s Juniors. Whilst at the junior school, he took up drama, was an actor in Netflix’s The Crown and appeared alongside Maggie Smith in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van. At St Paul’s, Richard was a senior scholar, a prefect, editor the POLEMIC political magazine and recipient of the Saburov Prize for History in his final year. He then undertook a gap year in which he worked in the House of Commons as a paid Parliamentary Assistant for an MP, having had a long-term interest in public service. In that capacity, he wrote speeches, completed constituency casework, managed press relations, undertook policy research, and attended parliamentary receptions on his employer’s behalf. He then began studying History at University College, Durham and will graduate in 2025.

Commenting on the award, Richard said “As Head of News it was particularly exciting to have delivered the gold award at the NaSTAs this year. I think student media is an especially fascinating field to work in because the university community itself is so dynamic. I love the whole process of really getting your head around a particular subject, understanding every dimension of it, and then having to step back and consider how to use film to communicate that understanding in an effective, informative, and entertaining way. There’s a real art to it and getting to learn it just as a second year student volunteering my spare time has been brilliantly stimulating. It has definitely made me seriously consider media as a career although exactly what form that could take, I’m very open-minded about.”

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