Bedfordshire student scoops award in Community Radio Awards

A student from the University of Bedfordshire won the 'Speech and Journalism of the Year' award at the annual national Community Radio Awards.

James Montague, who studied at the Luton campus, picked up first place for his radio documentary titled, Autism and its Possibilities.

University of Bedfordshire Radio LaB

University of Bedfordshire Radio LaB

His documentary was broadcast on the University of Bedfordshire’s community radio station, Radio LaB 97.1FM.

Celebrating his achievement, James said: “I feel ecstatic to have received gold. I never expected to make it this far in the competition.

“This programme has been a real joy to produce and has taught me a lot about myself and others in the autistic community.

"I want to thank Lawrie Hallett [Senior Lecturer in Radio at the University of Bedfordshire] and Terry Lee [Senior Tutor in Radio and Audio at the University] for their help in developing my radio skills and I want to thank everybody who participated in my programme. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

There were more than 400 entries by community radio stations representing communities from across the UK.

Speaking of his documentary, James said: “It contains snapshots of my life from childhood to adulthood and explores the advantages and disadvantages I have had living with Asperger’s Syndrome.

"The programme also introduces other people on the autistic spectrum and how they live with the condition.

“I wanted to spread a positive message that autism is not something to be ashamed of, that we are a valuable asset to society and that we are able to achieve great things.

"This programme has allowed me to open up, it has given me confidence, pride and has also allowed me to explore autism in greater depth.”

Senior Tutor Terry Lee said: “It’s wonderful for James to be recognised for his excellent documentary. His work was a great example of engaging storytelling, sound design and his personality shining through, above all else.

"Radio LaB is proud to have been able to broadcast this powerful programme.”

The show has also been nominated for 'Best Journalistic Programming' in the Student Radio Awards.